MPs Asked To Visit Schools Under Flight Path
Studies show that loud planes can affect children's education
MPs from a parliamentary committee are to be invited into the classroom of a Hounslow primary school to hear for themselves how teaching is disrupted by the din of jets landing at Heathrow Airport.
Councillor Colin Ellar, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, will invite members of the Transport Select Committee to visit a school under the flightpath when he gives evidence to MPs on Monday (28 January).
With the potential expansion of Heathrow Airport, the impact of noise on children’s education could become even worse.
Teachers in the borough, which is directly under both approach flightpaths, have long battled against the noise of aircraft landing, losing as much as 10 minutes of valuable learning time per lesson when it is impossible to shout over the noise of the aircraft on their final approach.
Cllr Ellar said: “I live directly under one of the flightpaths into Heathrow so I know first-hand how bad aircraft noise can get.
“Many of our teachers fight a constant battle to raise their voices over the roar of the aircraft. They tell me as much as ten minutes of teaching time every lesson can be lost, which is especially disruptive during their input at the beginning of a class.
“With the potential for expansion at Heathrow back on the agenda, I want MPs to understand that the education of our borough’s children is already being damaged, and that expansion will only make matters worse. Hounslow Council wants a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow, precisely because of issues like this which impact the daily lives of residents.
“So, I will be inviting them to come and hear what it is like for themselves. I hope they listen to me and accept the invitation, so their ears and eyes are opened to what we experience every day.”
Research has revealed that exposure to aircraft noise can affect children’s health and education. The study, published in The Lancet medical journal in June 2005, is of particular concern to the London Borough of Hounslow, where over 90% of children are directly affected by aircraft noise from Heathrow.
January 29, 2013