School Furniture Buying Guide
GUIDE TO BRITISH & EUROPEAN SCHOOL FURNITURE STANDARDS
The BSEN 1729 Standard
Over recent years the BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association) Furniture Group has successfully campaigned for the introduction of a new British Standard for classroom furniture – BSEN1729 – which ensures that tables, desks and chairs made for school use are properly shaped, sized and developed to prevent long-term damage to children’s backs and help children concentrate on learning without suffering discomfort.
The standards are: BS EN1729 Part 1 – Functional dimensions. BS EN1729 Part 2 – Safety requirements and test methods.
Health and Safety
Research shows that high-quality, well-designed furniture improves concentration and reduces misbehaviour, leading to better learning outcomes, so it is worth taking the time to make the right decision for your pupils. Schools should be aware that the British Standard for school furniture, mentioned above, is advisory and not mandatory, so we recommend that to ensure your pupils receive the best possible opportunity to learn in a safe and comfortable environment, you should always double check that your supplier conforms to these standards.
The wrong choice of chair could result in back pain. Remember that the height of a chair should relate to the height of a table. Quality manufacturers following British Standard guidelines will have calculated the ideal distance between the seat of the chair and the table to ensure maximum comfort and ergonomic benefits for the pupil. The British Standard guidelines recommend that schools purchase furniture at the appropriate size for the age and dimension of the children using the equipment. There are six different sizes and these are listed in the list below.