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Rows of green and blue lockers line the room, contrasting with the grey floor.

School Lockers: Our Guide


June 2024

In modern school spaces, focus often revolves around storage solutions.

One choice for this is lockers…

Lockers in schools are often thought of as an American innovation, frequently featured in television shows and movies set in high schools, they are a cultural icon for the USA. Often the question ‘Do British schools have lockers?’ arises due to this perception.

In short, yes they do, and are a popular and innovative storage choice which can benefit any learning space.

 

What are school lockers?

Coming in a variety of materials, sizes and shapes, a locker is a secure access storage compartment. In education settings, they are commonly used to store books, personal belongings, and other school-related items.

They allow students to confidently store items in a space that they and education leaders, in emergencies, have access to. Both safe and convenient, they can contribute to the reduction of clutter in classrooms.

 

What are the benefits of school lockers?

A commonly known benefit of Lockers is that it provides a secure storage space. However, it is important to consider other factors when choosing them for your education project:

Security
  • Lockers are a space which can be ‘locked’ by students to keep items secure. This reduces the risk of both theft and loss of items, which in schools can be an unfortunate occurrence.
  • Knowing that their items are secure, students have a greater sense of security, contributing towards a safer and more comfortable learning environment.
Organisation
  • Having an area to store items without worry encourages pre-lesson preparation. For example, students require a PE kit to change into, and with the use of Lockers, they can store this whilst in other lessons.
  • Not only does this prevent students from carrying items throughout the day, but it can also prevent clutter in the classrooms due to it being put away, which saves space.
Health and Safety
  • Mentioning the carrying of items, especially in secondary education, students often require numerous resources that they need throughout the day to learn.
  • Carrying around heavy items can lead to back pain in students.
  • Lockers aid in students not having to carry multiple items around all day until they are needed in lessons. For example, food tech items or heavy textbooks. This also provides relief to any excessive load on student backpacks.
Personalisation
  • Lockers provide a space for students to make their own. This can be a benefit in schools as it creates a sense of ownership and belonging for students, building a community feel.

 

Red row of pegsAre pegs or lockers better?

When considering different storage solutions, it’s important to understand the different needs that are required by the school to make the right choice for your school project. Each learning environment can differ from the next.

One alternative which can be chosen is pegs.

Security

As previously mentioned, lockers provide secure storage for students, which reduces both loss of items and theft. Pegs on the other hand have minimal security due to belongings being more exposed; a way to combat this is to have the room in which they are installed with a locked door, so a layer of security is still there.

Space

Although coming in many different shapes and sizes that can be bespoke made to fit the required space, lockers require a larger area to install. On the other hand, pegs are space-efficient and may be a practical choice for smaller schools that still require storage solutions. BOYCO’s pegs can be purchased stand alone, or on a hardwood peg rail.

Cost

Pegs are an economical option in both additional purchase and maintenance. BOYCO’s ‘Hot Dip’ nylon-coated pegs in particular, which is 4 x thicker than powder-coated alternatives, this provides a fantastic finish which can withstand daily use in even the most rigorous of environments. This also allows them to be easily maintained, with the ‘Hot Dip’ Nylon also providing anti-microbial protection in which 99% of all known bacteria cannot survive on its surface. This contributes to the health and safety standards of learning environments.

Although a durable option, Lockers however have a higher purchase and maintenance cost due to the locking mechanisms and greater surface area that they cover.

Accessibility

Often placed in high-traffic areas such as corridors or near doorways, lockers can be a great addition to store more high-value personal items of students such as mobile phones. However, due to the locking mechanism, there is potential for congestion at peak times, such as lunch or break times. Pegs offer a quick access solution, with students being able to both lift and hang coats or bags with ease, therefore preventing a queue to obtain items.

Considerations for Projects

When choosing pegs or lockers for a project, contractors should consider the following:

  1. The size of the school and layout to install the lockers. Smaller schools that have a limited amount of space would benefit from pegs, due to them requiring less installation area. On the other hand, larger schools with more space can accommodate lockers.
  2. Budget is another consideration. As previously mentioned, pegs are a cost-effective option for smaller budgets, such as a revamp of an already existing area. However, in larger spaces with a higher spend, lockers are a fantastic investment.
  3. Student and the school needs play a significant role in selection. In secondary schools and sporting areas, such as PE halls or wet areas, lockers are ideal to secure valuable personal items such as mobile phones. In learning environments such as primary schools, students are less likely to have personal items which are high value. Here, pegs are both a more suitable and practical option.

 

How do I choose the right locker for a school space?

Our senior estimator, Chris, gives his guidance on how to select the right locker for your upcoming project…

 

Senior Estimator at BOYCO

Purpose of the Locker

At the moment, there is a trend towards lockers, steering away from traditional cloakroom fittings. A lot of schools at the moment are using the alternatives in place.

When selecting a locker for your project or design, I recommend thinking first about the area the locker will be installed. In corridors and the classroom, it’s appropriate to have a dry area locker, which is available at BOYCO from 1 compartment up to 5 or 6 compartments. These are made of all steel, both carcass and door.

Locations such as changing rooms in schools with pools or showers tend to be damp environments. In this instance, I would recommend a wet area locker.  They are full-height lockers with space to house clothing and personal items when the user is changing. These are typically made with an aluminium carcass and SGL door, which is water resistant and doesn’t rust.

I would also recommend BOYCO’s sloping top option for the lockers where appropriate. This prevents items from being placed on top, such as rubbish or articles of clothing, which stops the build-up of clutter.

Another trend I am typically seeing at the moment is single-door compartments specifically for mobile phone storage. Usually with 20 compartments, it allows the teacher to keep distractions stored away until lunchtime or the end of the day, allowing focus to be on learning.

Age Group

Age is another important factor when choosing your locker. In secondary schools, I would recommend a single compartment up to 600mm high. This gives space for secure storage of school backpacks, books, or even laptops.

In primary schools, small children are unable to reach the full-height lockers. I would recommend a shorter locker; a maximum of 450mm high for each to ensure that the students can reach the compartment. A good option is to have a support seat with the lockers for them to have an area to sit down and change. However, still with a shorter compartment as a full-height locker with a seat is 2250mm.  Shorter compartments would prevent the students from standing on the bench to reach the top, a health and safety risk.

Material

In school environments, especially secondary, lockers need to be well-equipped to handle rigorous daily usage.

BOYCO’s standard

is an all-steel carcass and door. You can go a step further with this and have a Solid Grade Laminate door. This is an extremely durable material which is stain-resistant, allowing the locker to have a fantastic finish for years to come.

You can take an even further step with an  along with the Solid Grade Laminate Door. As previously mentioned, this is commonly used in wet areas. The Solid Grade Laminate again is stain-resistant due to it being non-porous, which makes it easy to keep clean, preventing the growth of bacteria, mould and even mildew. Aluminium also has several advantages; it is both lightweight and corrosion resistant yet still has the same strength as a steel frame.

Locking Options

At BOYCO, there are several locking options to select from:

  • Coin & Token: Place a coin which can be returned or retained.
  • Combination Lock: Uses a 3-digit code instead of a key.
  • Hasp & Staple: Easy use with a padlock fitting.
  • Key Fobs: Quick Identification for the user of the locker with the use of number plates also.
  • CAM Lock: Standard key lock, most commonly used.

I would recommend considering the age group using it and the location of the locker. Primary would struggle with key fobs, and if the locker is in a high-traffic area, a combination lock with quick access would be more appropriate.

Colours

BOYCO’s lockers come in a range of colours for your choosing. Often the school’s aesthetic is taken into consideration, or a bright colour is selected to help with identification. This is especially popular with small children.

Read more about colours in education spaces here.

 

Still looking for the perfect locker for your upcoming project? Download our brochure.

Conclusion

As schools evolve, lockers are a fantastic addition to any learning environment. It allows there to be additional safety and security for all, especially in larger secondary schools. These features can also be useful in primary schools, complementing any peg or as extra storage.

 


Looking to add lockers to your next education project? Team BOYCO are on hand to help! Contact us here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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