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School Furniture Buyers Guide

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.

But that is not the only consideration, there is also finding furniture which falls within budget and suits the individual needs of the establishment. Students spend a large proportion of their time sat on school furniture writing, reading and learning, so it is important that the furniture is up to the job. 

Style and design should be considered, as well as the durability of the furniture and whether it is available in the quantity that you need. Most furniture retailers will struggle to fulfil a school-sized order. School halls need to be multi-functional for day to day activities which may include assemblies, PE and drama. School halls can also be 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 must also 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 and 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. Alternatively, tables with fixed seats can be supplied, although these do need annual maintenance which is an additional cost for the purchaser. 


Great for catwalks

Drama is an essential activity for school children and many primary schools produce the most wonderful plays, concerts and entertainment for their adoring audience, parents. If you do not have permanent school staging in your school hall, plays and concerts can often be performed at floor level.

Craning of necks ensues, as parents and grandparents try desperately to see their offspring. A modular staging solution answers these problems. The stage needs to be easy to assemble and disassemble and when not required, stored in the limited school storage space. Modular staging is also invaluable for fund-raising activities such as fashion shows and public performances.

Heavy duty and Ultralight portable school staging is available, which includes a free school portable stage planner to help you work out how the different staging elements can come together. The modular nature of the staging means that performance spaces can be tailored to your exact requirements.

Among the tables, chairs, benches and staging, you can also find other useful pieces of school furniture and equipment, including whiteboard notice boards which wipe clean with a dry cloth and fully adjustable screen partitions for dividing classrooms or halls or maximise your limited available space. These screen partitions are available in a range of sizes, from 5' 9" to 24' 1" in length and a choice of two heights, so there will be something to suit your school's needs. There is a choice of four colours so you can match the screen to your school furnishings. You can also find school furniture accessories such as markers, magnets and pins for noticeboards.

Menu boards, cutlery trolleys and waste trolleys are additional items of school furniture which can brighten up your dining room with colourful and fun decorative end panels. These will encourage pupils to firstly enjoy their school lunch and then happily clear away after themselves. A bright and practical Salad Bar improves presentation and will help encourage the uptake of school meals and healthy eating.

Gopak also has a range of pre-school furniture, including book boxes and reading corner units. Our dedicated range of pre-school chairs allows you to select a range of seating for your classrooms, accommodating for all early years age groups.

Sports benches and changing room benches can be found in the stacking benches section. 

  • Transportation trolleys for moving furniture around the school can be found in the storage trolleys section.
  • Early years organisational furniture can be found in the early years section.
  • Examination tables, a staple of school furniture, can be found in the classroom desks section.
  • Classroom chairs can be found under the classroom section.
  • Classroom storage units, such as draws can be found under the classroom section.
  • Staff room furniture, such as comfortable meeting chairs can be found under the seating section.
  • Reception and office furniture can be found under the reception section.
  • Display notice boards can be found under the notice boards section.

On top of all this, Gopak can also offer free delivery, guarantees and the opportunity to buy more of the same in the future. Gopak's school furniture solutions are scalable so you can increase the capacity if and when needed by accessing your school furniture account.