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Every school has a duty of care to its pupils. This covers a wide range of aspects from safeguarding, to both mental and physical wellbeing. And, of course, office furniture may not be top of your list of priorities when considering these aspects of education. However, how pupils maintain their posture during long days of sitting down, and how teachers facilitate learning through easy storage of material etc. does have an impact. So, with that said, let us reiterate our title question:
What furniture do I need for school?
Tables, desks, chairs and storage need to be designed to cater properly for those using them. Pupils really do come in all shapes and sizes, and as they grow their needs change. But that’s not all that requires consideration, of course. A child in discomfort is not an attentive learner. So what should you be addressing when purchasing new furniture for your school?
Here are 5 factors you should consider:
Value for money
Many schools kit their classrooms out with furniture that is based on an average sized pupil. But that’s a meaningless assumption for purchasers to make. Children don’t come packaged the same size for each year group, and your furniture, therefore, needs to be flexible enough to accommodate these disparities. The key things to remember are:
The height of a chair needs to relate to the height of the table/desk
The distance between the seat and the table/desk matters
The support they have on their back will impact their concentration
The best thing is to discuss your school furniture needs with your supplier. At CamHam we have significant experience in supplying both schools and universities and would be delighted to chat through your requirements if it would help.
The way teachers run lessons will vary significantly during the school year. But across key stages, this difference is even more marked. It’s important, therefore, to speak to your teaching staff to find out what they need from the school furniture their class is using. This can affect everything from the materials furniture is made from, to the design, to the colour schemes. Ask in advance; don’t regret afterwards.
It seems too obvious to have to state but it would be remiss not to include this in an article on school furniture. Pupils give furniture a tough time. It’s moved around a lot; it’s sat on in ways most people couldn’t imagine; and it attracts graffiti like there’s no tomorrow. Ensuring the furniture you buy is durable, therefore, and can withstand the onslaught it is going to endure is critical to your purchase being a cost-effective boon to your school.
Some teachers love to be able to move tables, chairs and other bits of furniture around if they can. Obviously, this might be dependent on the age of the pupils they’re teaching, but even older classes sometimes need to huddle for a group discussion. The key focus is development and learning. The classroom furniture needs to support, not hinder, this. And it should be mobile enough not to require a team of janitors to move it each time.
Furniture That's Value for Money
Of course, there is always a trade-off between cost and quality. Budget furniture can seem a good buy at first, but the heavy usage that school furniture is destined for requires a durable solution.
If you’d like to find out more about how CamHam can help and advise you on your school furniture purchase, please do get in touch!