On a mission to understand indoor air quality in UK schools and provide evidence for better national policies and practice.


The quality of our air is important. After all, around 10,000 litres of air passes through each person’s body every day. UK residents spend around 90% of their time indoors, yet regulations to address air pollution focus almost solely on outdoor exposure. Our indoor air often contains pollutants that can damage our health. Young people spend lots of time at school, where poor air quality can have impacts on both their health and their concentration levels. Hence it is important to make sure that the air in classrooms is good, and improve it where it isn’t.

Key aims and objectives

SAMHE (pronounced 'Sammy') aims to establish a school-based network of air quality monitors which is representative of the UK’s schools. Through that network we will record measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM) along with temperature and relative humidity.
SAMHE also aims to give school communities the power to understand and improve their air quality. To that end we are developing an interactive Web App that pupils and teachers can use to interact with the data from their monitor. They will be able to see how their air quality changes over the course of hours, days or weeks and months. This will create opportunities for pupils to be scientists and do hands-on experiments with their monitors. It will also give students and teachers the knowledge and agency they need to control their own air quality, for example through opening and closing windows.

Related links

Smiling student

To learn more visit the SAMHE website

Sarah West, SEI York, Department of Environment and Geography

Lucy Way, SEI York, Department of Environment and Geography

Victoria Beale, SEI York, Department of Environment and Geography

Dr Henry Burridge, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London

Paul Linden, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Imperial College London

University of Cambridge

University of Surrey

University of Leeds

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)

Global Centre for Clean Air Research, University of Surrey

Centre for Applied Education Research (CAER)

Related links

Smiling student

To learn more visit the SAMHE website