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Is your school dining room ready to cater for Universal School Dinners?

School dining is about to undergo a radical overhaul, with the introduction of free school meals for all infant pupils in the UK from September 2014. With uptake of school meals likely to increase, your existing dining area may no longer be fit for purpose if it cannot comfortably accommodate additional diners.

Space planning for school dining rooms

For many schools, building an extended dining room is simply not an option due to increasingly tight budgets. This means that clever space planning and the right choice of school dining furniture is essential to ensure that every pupil in your school has a comfortable environment to dine in.

It is important to consider the shape of the space and key features that may affect the layout of the room. For example, round dining tables may be more aesthetically appealing and more sociable for the users, whereas rectangle tables will be more space beneficial in a square room. Pillars can be particularly problematic as they restrict what furniture you can fit in the room. An ideal solution is to position breakfast bars close to the pillars to keep space loss to a minimum.

Transforming a sports hall into a dining area

Schools that currently have low numbers of pupils who qualify for free school meals, may see an even more dramatic increase in uptake following the introduction of universal free school meals.

Even with careful space planning, your existing dining area may not be big enough to accommodate large numbers of additional pupils. One of the most affordable solutions is to transform other areas of your school into flexible, multi-purpose spaces.

Discover Chairs and Stools are also popular choices for school dining as the interlocking design makes storage and transport simple and their ergonomic handle makes it easier to move chairs around. Combined table and stool units make for efficient use of space and fast and simple breakdown.

Start planning now and ensure that your pupils are happy, healthy and comfortable every dinnertime. For more information or advice on space planning and school dining furniture, contact us on 01484 861 982 or email

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