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School administrators, school bursars, Finance Directors and those in charge of buying school furniture for a nursery, primary, secondary schools, colleges and universities are faced with an important responsibility; to provide the best possible environment for students all the time being mindful of the available and often limited budget. As students spend a large proportion of their time sat on school furniture writing, reading and learning, it is vital that not only is the furniture up to the job, but it should also be the correct size for the student to ensure bad posture while sitting or working does not cause long term ill-effect.
As you navigate your way around a school, there are so many different areas and spaces with varied functions or areas where a multi-purpose and multi-functional approach is required. Take a look at the school entrance hall, classrooms, school hall or canteen, staff room, offices, gym and sports halls, science laboratories, art rooms, food tech areas, outdoor playground and sports field. They all have a different role to play in our children’s education and learning.
While style and design should be a consideration, we recommend that you only buy chairs and tables that have passed BSEN1729 Part 1 for dimensional fit. Take a look at our guidance on BSEN1729 Part 1 & 2 and also look out for these symbols as you browse our furniture.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be only the durability of the furniture that you consider when making your purchase but you must ascertain if the furniture is available in the required quantity. Educational furniture specialists tend to manufacture to order, so can make one table or chair or two hundred tables or chairs. Most furniture retailers will struggle to fulfil a school-sized order and retail furniture also tends not to be designed to withstand the demands that an educational setting makes.
School halls are a useful space that must be multi-functional for day to day activities which include assemblies, PE and drama. School halls are often transformed into a dining area at lunchtime. Furniture must therefore be folding, portable and store in the minimum of space when not required. As recognised by the School Food Trust, the dining room and school lunch tables should be bright and attractive, to not only encourage the take-up of school meals but also to ensure that plates are emptied by the pupils.
School dining furniture can be difficult to select as there are many considerations to bear in mind. Lightweight folding tables, matching stacking benches and/or chairs are the obvious school lunch furniture choice, requiring no maintenance other than a quick wipe over with a cloth after lunch. Catering staff can easily fold down the tables and store them away using a bespoke storage and transportation trolley or carried into a cupboard or stored safely up against a wall. Alternatively, tables with fixed seats can be supplied, although these do need annual maintenance which is an additional cost for the purchaser.
If you would like any help, advice or assistant and wonderful team are on hand to make sure you make the right choice for you and your organisation.