How To Prevent Misuse And Vandalism In A Sixth Form Area27-01-2016
Furniture is a major consideration when it comes to refurbishing a sixth form area as it must be strong and durable to withstand potential vandalism and misuse. The following points should be considered when redesigning or refurbishing your space.
Obviously one of the main priorities of any school looking to refurbish their sixth form is to keep costs down as well as providing strong, good quality furniture that will stand up to student wear and tear. Mixing more expensive upholstered furniture with lower cost standard specification seating is a good way to cater for all students and provides variety. It also keeps costs down without only providing basic seating, and this can attract new students as it keeps the design looking up to date without costing the earth. Minimal amounts of upholstered seating means less comfort for the students but it means your furniture has a much longer life. Also, some soft seating, such as our Tranquil easy seating range, have sturdy arms and backs that students can sit on without breaking them. This will also help to ensure your furniture has a longer life span.
Loose cushions on sofas are not a good idea as they can be easily picked up and thrown around, and this means that they will not last long with troublesome students. Small modular seating is also a bad idea for the same reason. On upholstered furniture, it is a great anti-vandal tip to use dark fabric, especially on the seats, because if students spill food or drink or other substances that could damage or stain the fabric, it is much less likely to show if the upholstery is dark. This will also deter students from intentionally trying to stain the fabric in the first place.
With regards to hard-shell seating options, skid base chairs are the best choice as they do not puncture vinyl floors like four-leg chairs can do after the bungs are removed off the legs, and they also deter students from tipping back on their chairs. The frame is also stronger as there are no separate legs and this makes it a lot harder to bend, which is a common problem in modern schools. Again, dark-coloured hard-shell chairs do not show scratches and marks as easily, so are a more vandal-proof option. If the sixth form space includes a dining area, hard-shell seating alone is strongly advised in this area as it can be easily cleaned when food or drink is spilt. Gas-lift operator chairs should be avoided as the mechanism can easily be broken, and the separate parts of the chair are easier to break apart than hard-shell plastic or wooden chairs.
Tables with four legs are a better option than trumpet based tables as they are more stable and less likely to tilt or fall over. This means that student work along with food and drink is less likely to be knocked off the table top and if students are misbehaving, it is harder for them to tip tables over. However, trumpet bases can be more practical in dining areas as there are no legs to get in the way of students sitting at the table. Matt-finish legs or bases are also a good idea as they do not show marks or scratches like chrome or silver finishes do. High Pressure Laminate or Trespa table tops are very durable and withstand scratches, pen marks, heat and moisture, and this makes them ideal for a vandal-proof sixth form area.
Vinyl flooring is advised, as if any substances are spilt or if the floor just gets dirty through day-to-day use, it is a lot easier to clean than carpet, and most schools would only ever use vinyl in the dining area. If you wish to have carpet in your sixth form space, choose a dark colour that won’t show marks and dirt.
If you are looking to create a sixth form space that will continue to look good for years to come and will deter troublesome students from vandalising the furniture and fittings, we hope this post has helped. For any further information or if you wish to discuss your sixth form space, call us on 020 8641 4444 or send an email to [email protected].
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