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Pupil numbers set to dramatically increase

UK government statistics highlight that secondary school pupil numbers are set to rise by 20% in the next ten years, so maximising space within the school environment will be an essential consideration for all education planners. Larger pupil numbers will impact upon the educational performance of pupils, so it's important that impacts are minimised as much as possible.

Options - Schools facing larger pupil numbers can consider extending their current premises; however, this will entail a lengthy procedure to acquire funding and obtain planning permissions, alongside the required build time. Better space planning can provide a viable alternative to building, but it does require careful consideration and a good deal of thought.


All educational establishments are covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which makes it impossible to simply cram added school desks and chairs into classrooms and learning spaces. Risk assessments need to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure classrooms don't provide fire safety hazards or reduce exit opportunities in the event of emergencies. School managers and planners need to ensure that students, staff and visitors are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

Some classroom layouts can make maximum use of space while optimising the numbers of students that can be accommodated within the classroom. The horseshoe layout is one space-saving design for classrooms, which entails laying tables out in the shape of a horseshoe, with all pupils sitting on the outside, while enabling teachers to remain in the centre, where they can move freely and also keep a watchful eye on students. Nested group tables allow for students to work more collaboratively on group projects, and can be folded and stacked away when not required.

Dining spaces - Pressures on space can make it difficult for primary schools, secondary schools and academies to provide adequate dining facilities, particularly when school halls or dining rooms also need to be utilised for assemblies, sports or teaching. Mobile and folding table and chair arrangements are ideal for multipurpose areas and take just a few minutes to set up every day 

Edu-Quip offer a wide range of space-saving furnishing solutions for schools and educational facilities. All school desks and other furnishings feature the latest design specifications and meet the requirements of the most discerning buyer. Take time to browse our website on a regular basis and if you can find what you are looking for, give us a call.

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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