Dismore: Boris Johnson “hid report on schools’ poisonous air quality” in Barnet

London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore has criticised former Mayor of London Boris Johnson for concealing a damning GLA report that links poor air quality with deprivation in schools.


The report, ‘Analysing Air Pollution in London’ states that 433 schools in the capital are located in areas that exceed EU limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution – and that four-fifths of those are in deprived areas. In comparison, of the 1,344 schools located in areas below the pollution limit, less than a fifth were in deprived areas. Barnet Schools affected were Wessex Gardens in Golders Green and St Joseph’s in Hendon.


Mr Dismore said:


“It is outrageous that Boris Johnson hid a report that was such a full indictment of his eight years of failure on air quality. Boris Johnson was never straight with the public, and this parting gift is a final insult to small children.


Poor air quality in London is a scandal. Within the first few months of the year we had already exceeded the EU limit on NO2 pollution. If we make an effort to encourage healthy eating and sports participation in school to keep our kids healthy, then we should make an effort to improve the air they breathe too.


I am pleased that Sadiq Khan, the new mayor of London has put the quality of air at the top of his agenda. The onus is now on the Conservative administration in Barnet to work with him.”


The report, commissioned by the Greater London Authority in 2013, was never published under the mayoralty of Boris Johnson, but will now be by Sadiq Khan. Report authors Katie King and Sean Healy told the guardian newspaper that there was “still a clear disparity between deprived and non-deprived schools”.


Explaining the reason, they said: “A possible explanation for the general trend may be the link between lower house prices, and hence poorer households, and proximity to main roads such as the M4, inner ring roads and radial roads. Roads are a very significant source of NO2 emissions in London.”




  1. Schools in Barnet highlighted by the report as having poor air quality listed below:
School Borough Total pupils (2012) % pupils on free school meals Average NO2 Concentration in 2010 Average NO2 Concentration in 2015 Projected NO2 concentration by 2020
St Joseph’s RC Junior School Barnet 247 23% 43.64 39.97 33.21
St Joseph’s RC Infant School Barnet 43.64 39.97 33.21
Wessex Gardens Primary School Barnet 496 53% 41.67 37.68 31.61


  1. Article from the Guardian can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/16/boris-johnson-accused-of-burying-study-linking-pollution-and-deprived-schools?CMP=share_btn_tw
  2. The report, “Analysing air pollution in London” can be found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312760725/Analysing-Air-Pollution-Exposure-in-London?secret_password=UjnUA1OxDIURIebGARhZ
  3. Andrew Dismore is the Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden