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Why Should Schools Have Lockers?

Posted on August 23rd 2017 by Jordan Belfort.

Why Should Schools Have Lockers

School lockers are a regularly debated topic around the country. Some people will argue that they are an unnecessary addition, while others will argue that they are an absolute necessity. So why do people have such polarised opinions?

The image that springs to mind when thinking about corridors filled with lockers is probably in an American high school. People often don’t imagine schools in the UK in the same way. You might instead picture a few cloakroom pegs in each classroom instead. In spite of this, lockers are becoming a far more regular sight in Primary and Secondary schools all over the UK.

There are two sides to every argument. Here we’re going to take a look at both sides of the debate and ask why should schools have lockers?

Types of School Lockers

First we’ll take a look at the different types of lockers that are available. Often the assumption is that all lockers resemble the uninspiring, grey lockers that often occupy American high schools in films. This isn’t always the case.

There are product ranges that are specifically tailored for Primary Schools. These are lower in height than a standard locker,  and are approximately 1370mm in height. This makes them perfect for use by young children in key stages 1 and 2. Then there are standard size school lockers which are the same design but are a standard locker height of around 1800mm. These are more appropriate for secondary schools and colleges.

Primary school lockers are popular in a 3 door configuration and the standard size in a 4 door. These compartment quantities allow for enough space to accommodate student’s bags. With most lockers you can also select from a few widths and depths to offer more or less space in each compartment. These dimensions often range between 300mm to 450mm and should be chosen based on the average size of the items regularly stored.

Primary and Secondary School Lockers

Those are the two basic lockers types available, but there are a few variations that might be more appropriate. These can include Vision Panel doors, allowing for visibility into the locker whilst in use, or other options including cube lockers for a more customisable locker configuration.

Another often overlooked option are the lockers that are not specifically designed for student’s belongings, but are instead for the school’s property. Laptop and tablet lockers are becoming more necessary as schools start to take advantage of technology in their lessons. These lockers can act simply as safe storage or they can be fitted with plug sockets and USB charging ports. This will keep devices charged and ready for use.

Cons

Now let’s take a look at what are commonly perceived as the disadvantages of having school lockers.

  • Time Consuming

Often people suggest that lockers can serve as an additional distraction for students throughout the school day. They might forget to take things out of their lockers, resulting in valuable lesson time being used whilst they retrieve their work. They might also forget to take homework or PE kits back home with them from their lockers.

  • Dangerous items

There is a growing awareness around potentially dangerous items and substances entering schools. With this in mind, lockers have the potential to act as a place for these dangerous items to be hidden. There are a few ways this misuse can be prevented. Enforce a rule that all lockers need to be empty at the end of each day or week. If not emptied these lockers will emptied using a spare or master key. Alternatively choose vision panel locker doors. These will allow you to see into the compartments and perform checks while the lockers are in use.

  • Cost

Perhaps the biggest issue with getting lockers into schools comes from the cost involved. Regardless of whether a facility might want lockers, the budget might not always stretch that far. To get an individual locker for each student in a school is a big commitment of funds. A possible solution is to only have lockers for certain situations. Perhaps get enough to accommodate all the children doing PE each day, or only put them in subject areas which require students to carry extra equipment.

 TUFF Blue Lockers

Pros

Let’s now take a look at the positives often associated with the addition of school lockers.

  • Health benefits

It is widely acknowledged that repetitively carrying too much weight is unhealthy and can have serious physical effects. Students often carry far too much in their bags. Without lockers, they need to carry a surprising amount of books and equipment with them to school each day. Investing in lockers will give them a chance to offload this weight and hopefully help avoid any physical damage from repetitively carrying heavy bags.

  • Avoid lost items

It is very common that students will take expensive mobile phones, tablets and more to school with them these days. With this comes the potential for these kinds of items to be either lost or stolen. Installing lockers offers students a secure place to store these valuables. This avoids them taking the risk of losing them whilst they are in their lessons or during breaks.

  • Strengthen the school image

Not only does it look good to current students and parents to have invested in lockers, it also looks good for prospective students. They show a high standard of care for students and will show the school in a better light. They are also an opportunity to strengthen the school’s brand. Take advantage of various door colours to match the school colours and improve the overall appearance of the school.

 TUFF Lockers Room Shot

Final Thoughts

It seems that, although there are some very valid concerns when deciding if your school should have lockers or not, they are often outweighed by the benefits. With some planning, most of the drawbacks can be prevented through school policy and regular monitoring of locker use. The benefits for students would surely be appreciated which can only reflect on the school in a positive way.

Of course the issue that still remains is the cost. There are some affordable lockers available but you sacrifice the additional benefits of the different style doors or locks. With less funding for schools it can seem like a large project to take on, but as we’ve discussed in a previous blog post there are a few ways to tackle this.

If your school is in need of some lockers or you would like to discuss the possibility of getting them, visit the Workplace Products website or get in touch with us for more information or a quote. We have a huge range of lockers and a dedicated school lockers section with our top choices in it.

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