Durability, security, size, and appearance are all factors to bear in mind when purchasing lockers for your school.
There are many demands placed on school lockers. They need to withstand a lot of rough treatment and frequent use; they need to be the right size for your students’ needs and the available space in your building; they need to provide security – and it’s a bonus if they look smart too.
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to school lockers, so here’s our advice on the main factors to bear in mind.
The durability of your school lockers
How long will your school lockers last? Some materials are more hardwearing than others.
Metal (steel) lockers are the traditional choice for a school locker room, and for good reason. Steel doors are sturdy and offer good security – but they can still be dented by a good kick or have graffiti scratched into them.
Laminate doors are a more hard-wearing option that makes sense for many schools. They’re a little more expensive to buy, but they can’t be scratched or dented and can withstand years of rough treatment, meaning you won’t have to replace them as often. Probe’s ‘shockproof’ laminate range is designed with schools in mind – we’d recommend these if durability is your primary concern.
If you need lockers to have a long life in a damp or humid environment (perhaps near the showers or outside) then durable plastic lockers will last much longer than any of the steel-bodied alternatives as they won’t rust or warp. Some of Probe’s plastic range are completely waterproof and suitable for storing items outside in the playground. Despite being made of plastic, they’re tough and secure. They are quick and easy to clean out with a hose at the end of the year, too.
School Locker Security
What level of security do you need for your school lockers? The purpose of school lockers is to give your students somewhere secure to store their belongings. It’s not just gym kit – students now bring to school increasingly valuable items like phones and other gadgets. Although responsibility for their items ultimately rests with the students, it’s good for schools and colleges to be able to prevent thefts and invasions of privacy between students as much as possible.
There are a couple of other uses for lockers in schools: for teachers’ possessions, and for school equipment like laptops and exam papers. These scenarios demand higher security, so you might want to consider different types of lockers and locks.
For students’ lockers, the obvious lock choices are key locks, with keys supplied by the school, padlock hasps, where students bring their own padlocks and keys from home, or combination locks. Each of these offers good security to a sturdy locker.
While it’s true that students can forget or lose their keys or combinations, Probe’s lockers come with a master key that a staff member can use to override these locks so that they aren’t locked out forever. Replacement keys for key lockers are quick and cheap to order.
If students bring their own padlocks to fit onto padlock hasps, the school won’t need to sort out replacement keys, but the only solution to lost keys or combinations is for the caretaker to cut the padlock off, which might be a drain on their time,
For storing school laptops or tablets securely, we highly recommend investing in special laptop lockers. These are ideal for storing multiple laptops in their own separate compartments so they don’t get scratched or overheat. Laptop lockers include ventilation and can even incorporate charging points so that you have a secure place to leave school devices charging.
When it comes to school paperwork, exam regulations say that exam papers must be stored according to certain security measures. It’s sensible to purchase a flame-proof cabinet for your school for this purpose and to store completed coursework and other vital paperwork that you can’t afford to lose. These lockers are all suitable for exam paper storage.
The size of your school lockers
A basic and important consideration when buying new lockers is how much stuff your students need to store. For primary schools, playgroups, or where students only need to store a school bag or some books, cube lockers can be an ideal size. High lockers provide students with lots of vertical storage space (including coat hanging space and room for a hockey stick). Low lockers are somewhere in between – more storage space than cube lockers; less than high lockers.
The second thing you’ll need to bear in mind is how much space you have in your locker room, or wherever you intend to install the lockers.
Tall, thin high lockers are popular because they maximise the storage space inside each locker while taking up a small area of floor. That means you can give many students a lot of storage space in one room.
If you need to fit more lockers in, low lockers could be a good choice. They can be stacked in sets of two, providing double the number of lockers for a similar amount of floor space, if your students don’t mind losing a little storage space inside each one.
Probe’s cube lockers are appealing because they are specially designed to bolt together in any configuration – you can join them up vertically, horizontally or back-to-back, and make the most of all the space in a strangely-shaped room.
Try to find the best compromise between your students’ need for storage space and efficient use of the floor space you have when choosing lockers.
The appearance of your school lockers
Aesthetically-pleasing lockers deter vandalism and help keep your school looking modern, clean and tidy. You might want to use your school colours, match your paintwork or create a bright space.
Probe’s locker range allows you to be a little creative. The steel bodies come in a stylish white or black as well as the regular silver-grey, while the doors are available in colours like blue, green, red, lilac, or a smart white. Plastic lockers come in the widest range of colours, and you can mix and match them to create a fun, multi-coloured wall.
Overlay doors are another option that can make your lockers look smart – these hide the steel frames from view so that only the coloured door is seen. Ask about these when you place your order.
More options for school lockers
These four factors – durability, security, size and appearance – are helpful to keep in mind when you’re choosing a new set of lockers for your school. For more help, see our blog post on choosing school lockers which runs through all the available options and what they mean.
Feel free to browse our great selection of lockers, and give our expert team a call to discuss your school’s particular requirements or ask any questions: Freephone 0800 567 7549.