5 reasons canopies help ease school overcrowding

Posted on | Posted in Education

How canopies help ease school overcrowding

School overcrowding has become a pressing issue, with class sizes in secondary schools increasing every year for the past 5 years.

The number of pupils per school is a problem that needs to be fixed from the top down. But there are things schools can do in the short term to ease the pressure. Making use of underused space is one way to reduce the impact of school overcrowding.

Creating multipurpose shelter for pupils and school staff to use through the day provides extra room for all kinds of activities. Read on to see 5 reasons canopies help ease school overcrowding.

outdoor dining for schools

1. Reduce dining queues and crowded lunch halls

Lunchtime is often when overcrowding is felt most keenly. When we spoke to primary and secondary headteachers at the Schools and Academies Show (SAAS) last year, 54% said lack of dining space was a ‘major issue’. Our survey revealed an average of 2.14 pupils to every dining seat.

Having a dining canopy takes the pressure off, providing additional space to serve and seat kids during lunch hours. With more room, it puts a stop to queuing out the hall, making lunchtime easier for everyone involved.

Lunch is such an important part of the day and no one should have to go without due to not being served in time or having nowhere to sit. Dining canopies are the fastest and most affordable way to solve the problem for good.

canopies for schools

2. Create room for kids to sit and play during break times

Do you find it difficult to supervise kids during wet break times? Are kids crowding to keep dry in the same places? Or ending up in places they shouldn’t be? Breaks should be about socialising and burning off some energy. This is made difficult when weather conditions are wet and windy.

Providing playground shelter encourages kids to get outdoors and make the most of their break time. Open-sided playground canopies like our Connekt canopy (wall-mounted, freestanding, or umbrella style) make playgrounds more enticing and engaging places to spend time.

covered walkways for schools

3. Make space for lesson overflows

Outdoor learning is an important part of development, particularly for early years and primary age kids. It’s hard to plan outdoor learning into the curriculum when it’s weather dependent. If you have the shelter of an outdoor canopy to rely on, it becomes instantly easier.

Sheltered play areas or dining canopies can be used for lessons. Reducing overcrowding during lessons is particularly important during the pandemic. Canopies are the more affordable way to do this (typically coming in at less than half the cost of a building extension).

covered walkways for schools

4. Tackle crowded corridors with covered walkways

Moving between lessons can be one of the most stressful parts of the day for school staff. Overcrowding makes it tricker to manage and can cause pupils to be late to lessons.

Creating overflow corridors and shelter between buildings with covered walkways is a simple solution. It makes moving between different parts of the school quick and easy in all weathers.

outdoor dining canopies

5. Make space for extra curricular activities and events

In a busy school with thousands of pupils, there are all sorts of clubs and programmes to make room for. This is alongside regular events like parents evening. Outdoor dining canopies double up as event space. The enclosed rooms take pressure off your halls and provide safe and welcoming places to meet, learn and hold events.

We hope we’ve shown you how versatile outdoor canopies can be for schools. Although schools typically choose a canopy for one specific reason, they always find other ways to make use of the space. And at less than half the cost of a building extension, an outdoor canopy might turn out to be more of a useful investment than you first thought.

Worried about your school overcrowding? Find out about outdoor classrooms and outdoor dining canopies. Contact us on 01254 777 002 or