Lockers are an integral part of the school environment: they provide a convenient place for students to stash their personal belongings, lunch, textbooks, and sports kit. Here is our handy guide to lockers for schools, colleges, and universities.
Gone are the days of the plain, steel-colored locker – modern lockers are available in a huge range of colors and styles, great for brightening up your hallways, cloakrooms, and classrooms. Bold, primary colors are particularly good choices in primary schools and more refined pastels or subtle colorings can make a great locker in colleges and universities.
The size of the locker you need will depend on a few key factors: how much space have you got available for lockers, how many lockers do you need, and what kind of items will be stored in them? For GCSE level students and above you probably need large volume lockers, with shelves and hooks to accommodate different items. Younger students will be able to make do with smaller lockers, as they might only need to store lunches and coats alongside a couple of books.
Many lockers are built with integrated locking mechanisms. Your main choices here will be whether you want to go with key or combination locks. Combination locks are a great option for schools because when your student population turns over at the end of the year, you don’t have to collect up the keys and replace any missing ones.
For lockers without integrated locks, you could provide padlocks, but high-security padlocks with plenty of anti-theft features cost quite a bit. Standard or lower-end padlocks can do a good job in school environments and have the added benefit of being relatively easy to cut off if you need to get access for any reason.
When you picture a school locker, it is probably metal. There’s a good reason for this – metal lockers are super strong and sturdy, and can take the kind of beating that students are likely to put them through. Metal is also relatively cost-effective, making it a good option for cash-strapped schools. Other common locker materials are wood and plastic, both of which require little in the way of maintenance and upkeep and should remain functional for many, many years.
Before you make your final choice of lockers, think about a few other things. Do you want to encourage students to use the top of the locker cabinet for additional storage, or would you rather it was kept clear so the place looks tidier and more organized? In the first case, you’ll want a flat-topped unit, in the second, a sloped-top.
How important is ventilation to you? Bear in mind that sports clothes can quickly develop a musty smell, and cumulatively this can become problematic – particularly at the end of the day when a whole bank of lockers is suddenly opened and the air is allowed out. Consider lockers with added ventilation, and make sure that the room you place the lockers in is similarly well aired.
What do you want the inside of your lockers to look like? Do you want just a bare compartment, or would your students benefit from a shelf or two, and maybe some hooks?
Author Bio: First Mats started life as a safety matting specialist, but has since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality-approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk