Market Overview

The implications for school furniture requirements in light of Baseline Designs for Schools


A versatile and stimulating school is essential if students are to get the most out of their time at school. Metalliform Ltd believe the design and build of a school along with the installed school furniture therefore plays a significant role in creating a learning environment for students to thrive in. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has recently announced the latest plans to revolutionise school building plans. The intention is for these designs to be rolled out in conjunction with the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) as a template for well-engineered, sustainable and cost effective ways of meeting performance criteria, without the need to create a different school design every time.

(PRWEB UK) 26 October 2012

Baseline Design Implications
The newly developed Baseline Designs are a set of standardised drawings and specifications which can be applied across a wide range of educational facilities, including both primary and secondary schools. The baseline designs can be adapted to suit a wide range of school sizes and types. Although at this stage the proposals are not mandatory, schools will not be able to spend more than the amount it would cost to construct a school under the guideline designs.

These latest proposals for school building plans have raised cause for concern for all those in the industry of manufacturing and supplying school furniture. The end result of building schools to these designs and the effect of this on furniture requirements is yet to be seen.

School Designs 15% smaller
At Metalliform additional thinking goes into ensuring that our product range encompasses every need, and that each individual product is multi-functional for ultimate versatility. The new Baseline Designs are approximately 15% smaller than previous school building plans, and any wasted space has been reduced from all areas including receptions, hallways, canteens etc and inevitably the classrooms will become smaller.

School furniture needs to be agile
With space at a premium, Metalliform recognise that school furniture needs to become more agile in order to accommodate even the smallest of learning environments. As a result they have developed a product range that has something for every need. With tables to fold, nest and stack for ease of storage, and additional castors to create a mobile environment. With various table ranges offering height adjustability which provides schools with the ability to use the same classroom for various ages of children.

Gone are the days where schools were simply interested in basic tables and chairs to fill a classroom. Instead schools are moving towards the need for a modular classroom which provides wide scope for different classroom combinations for increased flexibility and classroom integration. There are now a wide range of modular tables that can be alternated to completely transform your classroom.

Interior classroom design
With new guidelines restricting the ability for schools to differentiate through exterior design, it is likely they will turn to opportunities for interior expression. Individual environments can be created through a largest possible pallet choice of laminates, shells, frames and edges, to enable schools to create a vibrant and exciting learning environment that will stand out from the rest! For new build projects it may be appropriate to have bespoke furniture tailored specifically for each learning environment, and one that is different from school to school.

About Metalliform Ltd
Metalliform has been making school furniture for colleges, schools and universities across the UK for over 60 years. The company is an active member of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and fully complies with the BESA Code of Practice – ensuring quality, safety and value for money.

Metalliform Holdings Ltd, Chambers Road, Hoyland, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S74 0EZ

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