Dining space is a ‘major issue’ facing schools, say senior school leaders

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School dining space is a major issue, say UK school leaders

It’s no secret that many schools struggle to seat all of their pupils during lunch hours. But the scale of the problem has been revealed following research carried out by speaking directly to the senior leaders of schools and academies from across the UK.

Earlier this month, we attended the Schools and Academies Show, in London. While speaking to senior school leaders about the challenges they face with dining space, our team asked them a few common questions.

The responses revealed…

  • 54% consider dining capacity to be a major issue within their school
  • There’s an average of 2.14 pupils to every available dining seat

Were you at SAAS? Does this sound familiar to you? Or, perhaps you weren’t at the show, but feel that the two figures above highlight what you’re experiencing right now? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

From our work with schools over the last 29 years, we’re aware of the strain increasing pupil numbers is putting on dining space. But hearing first-hand that over half of school leaders consider it to be a major issue is particularly concerning.

Having enough room for all pupils to sit and eat a healthy meal during lunch hours is fundamental to their wellbeing. And it’s this that makes the problem so pressing.

Not only is a lack of school dining space a logistical nightmare, it’s not conducive to keeping pupils safe and healthy throughout the school day. Without comfortable places to eat, pupils may be tempted to wander off-site or skip lunch altogether.

We speak to schools and academies week-in-week-out about these very issues. And as industry-leading school canopy manufacturers, we’re pleased to be able to provide a solution for most circumstances.

Outdoor dining canopies provide schools of all sizes with much-needed additional seating that’s protected from the elements.

outdoor dining for schools

Lack of space was a real issue at St Michael’s High School….

We spent a week at St Michael’s High School in Chorley who’d outgrown their dining space and were struggling to seat everybody during break-times.

They decided to create a multi-purpose area that would provide additional dining, learning and recreational space. Our Cantabria outdoor dining canopy was chosen for several reasons, including the fact it would provide a fully enclosed, heated area that could be used all-year round.

FREE eBook: Modern measures for making more room:

You can read more about how other schools are currently responding to the lack of space issue in our free eBook, ‘Modern measures for making more room’. The guide contains information on how schools can increase their dining and learning space and includes five practical examples.

Are you struggling for dining space right now? We provide free site surveys to schools across the UK. During the survey, we’ll assess your current situation and recommend a solution that meets your specific requirements.