Developing the research base to design and operate healthy schools now and in the environment of the future.
Our work is broken down into four in-depth content areas relating to schools and air quality: Understanding the problem; understanding the solutions; prioritising the solutions and dissemination and outreach. Each group will meet regularly to discuss the research landscape and identify priority areas for further work. If you would like to get involved please contact us.
This group will focus on the levels of pollution and their impact on overall indoor environmental quality (IEQ) – the extent of the problem; how the outdoor pollution impacts IEQ12; the health impacts; the broader impacts on learning; and schools in the context of the wider city, how air pollution problems link into wider sustainability issues in cities.
The possible solutions under consideration include building design and retrofit, ventilation systems, facades, glazing, materials etc.; external interventions e.g. traffic interventions like School Streets, green and blue spaces; behavioural aspects – how we use buildings; democratised ‘products’ to control the environment – e.g. intelligent devices, predictive models that can be accessed by schools; managing school locale and travel to and from school; public policy interventions.
A systems approach will be developed using brain-storming, agent-based and economic modelling including quantification of health related effects of tackling air pollution. We will examine the potential for using data and AI in a systems approach and consider ‘whole-city’ thinking – putting solutions for schools in the wider context of city planning. In this way we will develop a framework for prioritising interventions.
We will work closely with Global Action Plan in field studies involving schools and making links to other sustainability agendas – Climate Change and SDGs. We will involve pupils through citizen science in these studies and work with the Department for Education (DfE) to establish a strong educational component. We set up wide dissemination activities through sector bodies: e.g. National Association of Head Teachers and air quality campaigners, and via the CO-SCHOOLS website www.coschools.org.uk
Every six months we will bring our community together with a full Network meeting. We will also hold workshops on topics of interest with expert speakers. Members of TAPAS are welcome to join any of our focus group activities which will run regularly, or to work with us directly on bespoke research.
To change the conversation on air pollution we believe it is essential to engage directly with children, schools and parents. Our team includes education and citizen science specialists who will help us to effectively build schools outreach into our work programme.
We ran a 'Collabration Building Workshop' in Sept 2021. We wanted to encourage participants to think innovatively about challenges and solutions in improving air quality in and around schools. Three small grants were awarded to the winning applicants for research projects that support our ambition to develop the research base to design and operate healthy schools in the environment of the future. Read more about the winning projects here.