Croydon Local Authority rolls out standing desks to 33 schools as part of SEND programme
Pupils at 33 primary schools in Croydon are set to benefit from the use of standing desks, as part of a special initiative introduced by Croydon Local Authority, which aims to improve support for children with special needs.
With a standing desk, rather than needing to remain seated for traditionally sedentary activities, such as writing, pupils can move whilst they learn. In the case of children with ADHD and other neurodiverse conditions that are typically associated with ‘hyperactivity’, being able move has been shown to aid learning ability, concentration and behaviour.
As part of Croydon LA’s ‘Locality SEND Support programme’, 15 schools were initially invited to take part in a trial of the standing desks. This proved so successful that it is due to be extended to all 33 of the programme’s partner schools.
The Locality SEND Support programme provides early, targeted help for SEND pupils. This early help may be in the form of advice, school-to-school support, referrals to specialist services and funding for additional resources. While the programme has initially focused on 33 partner schools, it will be extended to all mainstream schools in Croydon over the next 18 months.
Innovation sits at the heart of the programme and partner schools are encouraged to share ideas and to think about the question ‘what more could we be doing?’. This led one SENCO to express an interest in using standing desks in the classroom.
Two EIGER Student Standing Desks were subsequently offered to 15 schools for an initial four-week period. At the end of the trial, all the schools requested to keep the desks, having seen improvements in areas including pupil behaviour, concentration, confidence and wellbeing. The desks have all been fully funded by the Locality SEND Support programme.
Keran Currie, Area SENCO Leader of the programme, commented: “We actively encourage SENCOs to think outside the box and let us know about new innovations and resources that may aid inclusion and support individuals in their care. We strongly believe that the earlier we can help a student, the better the outcome, and there is ‘no one-size-fits-all’ - it’s about making sure we provide the best education, while meeting individual needs within that.
“The EIGER standing desks have proven to be an instant hit! We’ve been blown away by the feedback from teachers, but also from parents and pupils, so extending the trial to all our schools was a natural next step.”
She continued: “We’re incredibly proud of the work we’re doing with schools. Our model is already generating a lot of interest from other local councils, who are considering ways they might develop their own version of the scheme.”
Nick White, founder of I Want A Standing Desk, who designed and supplied the desks for Croydon LEA, commented: “We’re delighted to be working with the team at Croydon on this innovative programme and the feedback received from the schools has been amazing.
“For some children, sitting still takes a huge amount of effort and energy. By using a standing desk and allowing them to use it when they wish, they can instead direct this energy towards their learning and this has a positive impact, not just for them, but for the class as a whole. We look forward to working with the next cohort of schools in the new term.”
The EIGER standing desks sit on top of an existing desk and only take up the space of a single child. More than 500 primary schools across the UK are currently using them and consistently report seeing improvements in behaviour, concentration and engagement levels, as well as neater handwriting and increased productivity.