School equipment is one of the most basic things that all schools require. Anything from learning materials such as stationery, exercise books or sports equipment to school furniture and facilities, and also safety and maintenance equipment. This article explores various opinions on school equipment and why it is important to learning.
Certain equipment, such as pencils, pens, or paper does need to be replenished on a frequent basis and are known as consumables. Other equipment such as tables or electricals tends to be much more expensive and there can be reluctance to replace them even when it is necessary. This is especially true now that schools are given very tight budgets from councils and the government.
According to a recent study carried out by BBCs Newsround, the news service for children across the UK, school equipment may not be fit for purpose. The study asked children their general opinions on the equipment and furniture they used. The responses were surprising: Almost all children reported serious problems. These ranged from broken, uncomfortable chairs, damaged tables, equipment that is unsuitable or too small. It seems as if headteachers do not realise how unhappy children are with the equipment they use which is a serious concern.
Another very recent debate about the quality of school buildings versus the quality of teaching was recently posted. The new education secretary Michael Grove announced that the new school building project and the BSF Building schools for the Future set up by the previous government would be cancelled to save money. But many people have argued that this means children will need to use outdated equipment in an educational setting, while others have said that the buildings as long as safe are effective enough. Whether they have considered the effect on existing furniture and equipment remains to be seen.
The recent credit crunch, recession and general lack of money in public sector spending may become a serious problem for schools with limited budgets. A typical budget for school equipment must be spread across everything from site equipment and maintenance to teaching material for children. While some of the material may still be adequate from the point of teachers, they may fall short of health and safety or quality standards set by UK and EU laws.
While the conditions of the buildings themselves are perhaps not the most important, unless of course they fall below the minimum standard, the equipment itself must always be fully functional and up to the minimum standard. School equipment can be purchased from large educational suppliers such as The Consortium. School equipment are some of the fundamental building blocks to a childs education, and combined with effective teaching can be a very important step for any child. Schools can save money by negotiating for bulk prices of items, especially expensive items such as educational furniture and searching for the best prices possible for any item. Any school budget, especially for schools which are having difficulties financially, should be carefully planned and set aside to be spent on items which need the most investment and replacement.