Climate Emergency in Waltham Forest

In April 2019, Waltham Forest Council declared a Climate Emergency.

Climate change, pollution and environmental health are safeguarding concerns for Waltham Forest children, in respect of their health and wellbeing. The public health risk was sadly emphasised by the tragic death of Ella Kissi-Debrah (9 years old) in south London, whose death was directly linked to air pollution.    

The resolutions passed by Waltham Forest Council are as follows – along with some ideas as to what you can do as a school or college to support these: -

Resolution 1:
School Streets

Begin the roll-out of ‘School Streets’ across the borough to reduce the carbon footprint of the ‘School Run’.

What can your school do?

Resolution 2:
Waste / Recycling

Review our Waste Collection Offer and pilot new ways to secure increased levels of reduction, reuse, repair, reimagining and recycling.

What can your school do?

  • Provide the council with ideas of improving reduction/reuse/repair/reimagining and recycling in the borough
  • Benefit from the council’s offer of free compost for your school gardens made from the collection of brown bins
  • In order to instil good habits and a sense of individual responsibility in children and young people, provide triaged waste disposal across school and college for staff and pupils that includes:
  1. Compostable waste
  2. Recycling waste
  3. Black bin waste

Resolutions 3 and 4:
Enjoy Waltham Forest

Continue with the delivery of the Enjoy Waltham Forest Programme and the design and policy principles that support it.

Encourage Active Travel
Continue to work with TfL to improve levels of ‘active travel’ and reduce the carbon footprint of the public transport network in Waltham Forest

What can your school do?

  • Become a STARS school and go for Gold!
  • Implement the Daily Mile in school to promote health, wellbeing, a love of movement and activity and to reduce obesity – and improve behaviour and attainment while you’re at it!
  • Provide accessible, secure and ample cycle sheds for both children / young people and staff / visitors / parents
  • Offer Free Cycle Training to all pupils
  • Offer Free Cycle Confident training to all pupils
  • Encourage families to walk and cycle to school
  • Remind parents not to park in access points or to leave their cars idling outside of school

Resolution 5:
Teaching About Climate Change

Support the Children’s Portfolio Holder to work with Waltham Forest schools at all levels to embed awareness and teaching of the facts about climate change into their day to day teachings and activities

What can your school do?

Resolution 6:
Housing and Economic Growth

Support both the Housing and Economic Growth Portfolio Holders to bring forward proposals to improve the carbon footprint of current and future housing in Waltham Forest.

What can your school do?

  • Consider using renewable energy onsite for heating / ventilation / electricity
  • Install water butts for watering plants, gardening, outside cleaning
  • Plant trees on site, grow vegetables, do composting
  • Ensure all parts of school have plants to improve air quality

Let safeguarding know what you’re doing to improve awareness of climate change and to take action to reduce the impact on the environment, and if you have any bright ideas that we can share across schools and colleges in the borough.