Five good reasons to use stacking chairs instead of benches in schools

April 13, 2018

Benches have been a traditional form of seating in schools for many years. Whether being used in a school dining hall, or at a prize giving, they have become a familiar sight. But are they the best option when it comes to providing flexible and affordable seating in schools?

There is an alternative, that is fast becoming a popular choice. This alternative is the stacking chair; or rather a collection of stacking chairs. But, why is it a good idea to use these chairs instead of benches?

Improved seating flexibility

One of the problems with benches is that they can only be used as a group of seating, so it can be difficult to achieve the seating arrangement that you are looking for. Using chairs means that you can situate them however you choose; as a single chair, in pairs or in larger groups. This is important when you think about the different types of activity that take place in schools including parents’ evenings, school plays and prize giving events.

Better use of storage

Storage is an integral part of good classroom design. And, a well-designed classroom is important in order to create a comfortable learning environment. Schools often do not have much room for storage so it’s important to make the best use of what is available. Stacking chairs are stored away vertically when they are not in use. This releases floor space that can be used for storing other items, or for classroom activities.

Easier to move

Wooden benches are heavy to lift, as well as being awkward to move because of their length. Even modern versions can be cumbersome. Compare that experience to the one that results from using stacking chairs. These chairs are sturdy and durable, but they are still light and easy to carry. From a practical point of view this is important if only one person is available to clear away chairs. It also means that the clearing process is completed quicker than it would be if benches were used.

Improved social interaction

Children need social interaction in order to flourish. It helps them to develop the social skills that they will need throughout their lives. There are many activities that schools can use in order to enable social interaction. These include:

  • Sports teams.
  • Drama groups.
  • Role play.
  • School fetes.
  • Nativity plays.

During events such as role plays, or just down time when children are encouraged to interact, it’s important to encourage flexibility. Using stacked chairs in this situation means that children can simply move their chairs to create different groups, and keep changing the group they are in. It’s not possible to do this when benches are being used, as a group of children all use the same bench.

Wider range of usage

Seating in schools is not just used by children. There are a variety of different situations that require the use of seating in a school building.

School plays and concerts

Often, the main hall of a school is used to host plays and concerts by the children. Parents, other relatives and friends come to see the children perform. This means that temporary seating is required in the hall. It would be possible to use benches in this situation, but not ideal. Using stacking chairs means that best use can be made of the available space, and extra chairs can be left stacked in case they are needed. It’s also a simple process to pack the chairs away once the event has finished.


Many meetings take place in schools. These include parent/teacher meetings, school governor meetings and meetings of the teaching staff. These meetings may be held in a room where there is already a table and chairs in position. But, even if this is the case, it helps to have extra chairs stored away so that they can be used if necessary.

Community activities

Schools are not solely used for their main purpose any more. They are also often a hub of community activity. It’s unlikely that an adult education group would want to sit out on benches. But, they could certainly make use of sets of stacked chairs. This type of chair can also be used when keep fit classes are taking place as they are easy to put out in areas which do not affect the main activity.

It makes sense to use stacking chairs instead of benches in schools, for all of these reasons. They can also be bought in bulk at a good price, and are manufactured to last. This makes them an affordable and durable seating option.