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What to do if your school isn’t a funding priority

04 June 2015 By Alain Jones, National Furniture Sales Manager

Old Classroom Furniture

Earlier this year the government announced the second round of its flagship priority school building programme. If your school didn't make the list but is in desperate need of a face lift, how can you get the most out of the budget you do have?

The priority school building programme provides funding to schools that are most in-need of improvement, helping them plan ahead with investment decisions and ensure those responsible able to deliver the best possible value for their schools.

For those that make the list it is great news, but for schools not so fortunate to receive additional budget, tough decisions will be made on how to maximise budgets and deliver a sound and effective working environment for teachers and pupils alike. Here’s a few tips on maximising what you already have and any budget for improvements:  

Shop around - Find the right supplier

There are two key things you can do here. Look for factors such as quality of product and guarantees offered on products and service in order to differentiate suppliers.  Alternatively, think about using an established furniture framework to reduce the hassle and cost of sourcing a new supplier, ensuring that you get the most suitable and compliant deal without having to scope out several different suppliers yourself.

Make the most of what you have - You don’t need to start from scratch

We recommend auditing your existing furniture and retaining pieces that still meet your needs. Mixing new furniture pieces with legacy items will give your classroom that all important update but will ensure that you don’t go over budget. Think of it as giving your classroom a face lift!

Flexible and versatile working space – Interior school environment is key

Introducing colour, light, practical working areas for students, as well as socially interactive and relaxation areas and modern yet functional furniture can all make a significant impact, yet remains a cost effective solution.

Tailored solutions – Ensure your space is maximised

There is no doubt that, for many schools, space is at a premium. Bespoke solutions, tailored to a school’s individual needs, can provide a cost effective way of delivering long-term benefits.  2D and 3D design work can help you make the most from available space as well as ensuring compliance with all relevant health and safety legislation

Buying to last – Don’t just make do

I realise it might sound obvious to stress the importance of purchasing products that are hard wearing and built to last, but it is certainly a message that is worth repeating. When budgets are tight, there can be a temptation to buy products that ‘make-do’ and offer a cheaper alternative. However, paying a little more for durable products will, in the long term, reduce recurrent costs for repair and replacement – providing better value for money.

Creating an inspiring classroom – Let pupils take ownership

It’s really important to make sure that a classroom is inviting and comfortable for pupils as they spend the majority of their day in lessons. It’s also important to let pupils feel that they have a sense of ownership and pride in their classroom. Designated areas where pupil’s work can be displayed in an engaging way is great to help encourage others.

Looking to make the most of your furniture and space? YPO has a free specialist design planning service to help you create inspiring and functional environments and a range of quality products and frameworks.

Categories: Procurement , Education , Furniture

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