Category Archives: Articles

New blind safety laws in 2014

School Blind Safety

Blind cord safety has been on the agenda for some time, with RoSPA leading a long-term campaign to improve saftey. However, despite this campaign and other efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of looped blind cords, the UK has actually seen a rise in deaths related to blind cords in recent years.

However, early 2014 will see a tightening of the regulations governing the supply of new blinds,  mandating the inclusion and testing of child safety devices at the point of manufacture, together with maximum cord and chain lengths.

All school blinds supplied by Schools Direct already incorporate these safety features into our school, and so we welcome their passing into law to ensure that all blinds fitted in future will be as safe as possible.

However, there is obviously still a large base of installed school blinds whose designs don’t incorporate such features, and so we urge all our customers to remain vigilant in the use and maintenance of their blinds to help make sure that accidents are avoided.

If you have any questions about the new regulations, or the use of your existing school blinds, Schools Direct would be delighted to help .

Key regulation points at a glance

  • Safety devices for preventing any cords or chains from forming a hazard
  • The testing of all safety critical items of internal blinds
  • The testing of blinds using safety devices
  • The installation of safety devices on the product at the point of manufacture
  • Maximum cord and chain lengths
  • Warnings and instructions on packaging and point-of-sale

The amazing effect of classroom design

Academic progress needs the best environments | School blinds

We have of course always believed that the right school blinds and curtains can make a positive difference to your classrooms.

However, recent academic work seems to prove that the differences in teaching environments can have a far greater measurable effect than we imagined.

The study by the University of Salford looked at various environmental factors, such as lighting and colour schemes, to determine what makes up an effective teaching environment . Their conclusions were pretty startling – that these factors alone can make a difference of up to 25% in academic achievement. To put it another way, a full year of academic development can be gained or lost between the most and least effective classrooms.


Changing focus from the ‘3 R’s’ to the Four Walls

The implications of this must be quite incredible for schools. At a time when when faced with the ever more difficult balancing act of improving performance while facing reductions in resources, we learn that a significant element of the learning potential lies not in the hands of the teachers, but of the classroom itself. For us, it shows that our products go even further beyond aesthetics and usefulness. The right school blinds can, alongside other factors, help to genuinely add value to pupils.

The study is ongoing, so it will be interesting to follow and see if broader research confirms these findings. In the meantime, there seems to be a genuine benefit in working an achieving that effective environment identified by the study.

If you would like to see if you can improve or upgrade your school blinds or curtains in a bid to ensure your classrooms are at the top of the pile, we would love the chance to help. Please click the link below to request more information.

p.s. Did you know that we also offer a decorating service for even more enhanced classrooms?

The Great British Summer

Even by its usual standards the British weather has surpassed itself so far this year. Accustomed as we are to things being somewhat variable, we haven’t even had the luxury of seeing a break in the unrelenting reversal of the seasons for weeks as we have to keep checking the calendar to ensure we haven’t accidentally slept through to November.

The weather is however starting to tease us, and the sun has actually emerged from behind the clouds a couple of times in recent days. This gives a little hope that we may at some stage yet be granted a proper summertime, with some lasting bright sunny days and the mercury nudging up towards shorts and ice-cream levels.

And should that ever happen, we will of course then all react in one of the two traditional British ways – half will head for the beach in the hope of making it into The Sun’s ‘Cor, What a Scorcher’ feature, while the other half will complain that is now uncomfortably hot and far too sunny.

Hot and Bothered

The latter problem strikes particularly those who become chained to swelteringly hot  workplaces, classrooms and offices. Productivity and interest wilts dramatically, and levels of frustration rise with the temperatures and the glare that will inevitably fall in just the wrong place.

It is at this time that we turn to a variety of cooling devices – fans, or for the really lucky, air conditioning systems. However, this in turn pushes up the energy costs at a time when they should be falling, and makes the bill payers even more hot under the collar.

Reflected Glory

However, there is another solution to help keep your rooms more shaded and comfortable, by choosing blinds that offer a greater level of control over the light and heat that enter your rooms. Within our full range of roller, vertical and venetion blinds, Schools Direct offer a full range of blackout or dimout school blinds that can bring darkness to the brightest of days, allowing your audio/visual or IT equipment to be used successfully. In addition we offer a range of heat reflective coating also, which mean that the rooms that receive the most direct sunlight can gain that extra help to help keep temperatures down, keeping people and machines working without overheating.

If you are trouble by excessive sunshine or heat (as unlikely as that sounds today…) please contact Schools Direct and we can help you to keep your cool once summer finally does arrive.