Utilising furniture for safe social distancing
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Utilising furniture for safe social distancing

27 May 2020 By Gemma Maw – Category Buyer for Furniture at YPO

Chair in empty classroom

Now is the time that school leaders are thinking about how to get pupils back to school and ready for the phased return of year groups. The already larger class sizes and lack of space mean that adhering to the government guidance may seem like a daunting task.

It’s important that staff feel comfortable within their whole school environment to be able to successfully get back to teaching, whilst being confident they can encourage safe practices for social distancing.

It’s also important for pupils to feel safe when returning back to school to enable them to clearly understand the changes and feel comfortable within their new school environment.

Here are some ideas of how you could utilise different furniture products within your school to ensure safe social distancing practices.

Mobile whiteboards and easels

They’re mobile, sturdy, and easy to transport whilst also hygienic as can be wiped clean. You could use them to show one-way systems, social distancing guidance or as reminders for cleanliness.

Partition screens

They’re ideal for dividing spaces in classrooms or halls. Creating dining, quiet, or separate study areas. Double-sided panels are acoustic and sound absorbent with a stable and sturdy construction which are mobile and easy to arrange in different configurations.

Mobile tilt-top tables and foldable tables and chairs

If you’re thinking about using mobile classrooms, halls or even outside space that would not usually be utilised as a classroom or dining area, the use of tilt top and folding tables and chairs are an ideal solution for adapting different areas. They are compact, foldable, sturdy and can be wiped clean, they are also mobile so can be easily stored away.

Tray units, cupboards and bookcase

They’re not only an ideal storage space to keep the classroom tidy, but they can also be configured to section out different areas. The use of classroom storage with built-in trays enables each child to have a place to store their own equipment and can be taken in and out of the unit at the start and end of each day. Cupboards, units and trays can be wiped clean.

Office desk, chairs, screens and breakout furniture

Screen dividers on desks are an ideal solution to help follow social distancing guidance. You can also utilise a range of desk styles for example bench desks, wave desks or a standard rectangle desk that can have multiple configurations depending on space. Each member of staff within the school office environment should ideally have their own chair that is ergonomic, height adjustable and easy to transport.

Booths and multi-purpose tables and chairs that can be wiped clean can create an ideal work and breakout space.


These are just a few suggestions to help you utilise different pieces of furniture to ensure social distancing practices are adhered to and enable a structured environment for a return to school as safely as possible.

You can view our recommended furniture products that fall within the above categories here.

Categories: Education , Furniture

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