Square Mile school sees nitrogen dioxide reduction

Nitrogen dioxide air pollution at Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School in the Square Mile has fallen below the legal annual limit for the first time since monitoring began in 2003, the City of London Corporation has said.

The data, gathered by the City of London and verified by King’s College London, shows that levels of NO2 were below annual limits in 2017. Levels of particles of PM10 and PM2.5 continue to be below government limits the local authority has stated.

Sir John Cass School is located in the Square Mile. Air quality monitoring has taken place at the school since 2003. (source:

Monitoring began at the school in Aldgate in 2003 with the installation of a 24-hour air quality monitoring station in the playground, which includes an API M200E NOx analyser, and a Met One 1020 for particulate matter analysis.

Policies brought in to improve air quality at the school have included the installation of ‘green walls’ made from ivy screens, air filtration units in classrooms and an education programme for pupils about how to reduce their exposure to air pollution.


Jeremy Simons, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said: “These results clearly show that our collaborative approach to improving air quality in the area is working.

“This achievement is a beacon highlighting what others can do to tackle air quality across London.

“It is one small step on the journey for clean air in the City. We are working with schools, developers, minicabs firms, charities and the capital’s local authorities to improve the air that Londoners breathe.”

Tim Wilson, Headteacher of Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School, said: “We are pleased that our collaboration with the City Corporation has helped to improve the health and lives of our students.

“The measures taken at the school and education to reduce exposure have proven invaluable.”

The work with Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary forms part of the City Corporation’s wider policy to combat air pollution. City of London works with businesses through its CityAir Programme whilst also leading a crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling.


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