APMG was challenged to use its design skills to provide anti-tamper furniture for areas in several Pupil Referral Units across England. Pupil Referral Units provide education for children with a range of social, emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties who are unable to attend a mainstream school. The brief was to create furniture that would be impossible to damage, with no removable components that could cause harm.
Our designers relish a challenge. They consulted closely with the schools, listening carefully to the staff, and created solutions to address each of the potential scenarios they described.
Our sturdy school furniture required very few changes to make it suitable for use in a secure setting – our designers simply applied smart thinking to the challenge. The PRU teams were very clear about the challenges of providing furniture that pupils could not use to hurt themselves or others. As a result, we sourced slightly different components to avoid any of the scenarios they described.
We designed the cupboards with recessed, anti-ligature handles. We chose Trespa® rather than standard melamine-faced MDF for the doors. Trespa® provides an extra level of robustness – it cannot be peeled apart. In addition, it doesn’t require the edge-banding which could potentially be removed to cause damage or self-harm. We also used three specialist hinges on each door for extra resilience, making it harder to break the cupboard doors apart.
IT suites contain valuable resources. They are an area where the teacher might need to exercise immediate control for the safety of the pupils. For Pupil Referral Units, we can house the computer screens in individual automated rise and fall units. The teacher can lower and securely store these units at the touch of a button if any disruption occurs. The computer units are stowed in lockable cupboards, and all cables are carefully managed and inaccessible.
In the overnight accommodation hard-wearing Trespa® was used for the shelving and bed space. Corian® provides a seamless surface because it can be moulded to ensure no sharp edges. This makes it perfect for the living area worktops and bathroom surfaces. We even designed a space in the bathroom to keep toilet paper dry as holders are not allowed.
Throughout the installation we used solvent-free sealant specifically designed to provide a finger pick resistant seal.
The result: Our clients were very pleased with the robustness of our furniture and the design features we created. Contact our team for your PRU project.
“We always enjoy the opportunity to add value through our design and manufacture capability, and with this project it was satisfying to support staff and pupils by providing them with a safe environment. We have since been contacted by one Pupil Referral Unit which experienced disruption in the accommodation areas. The staff told us how delighted they were with the robustness of our design and fixtures – none of our furniture had sustained any damage or been broken down to cause harm or vandalism.”
Will Perrott, Managing Director, APMG