Deciding when its Time to Replace School Lockers

School lockers are an essential part of the educational environment, providing students with a secure space to store their belongings. Are you unsure if your lockers simply require some maintenance or a replacement? It’s conceivable that Helmsman can assist with the upkeep and servicing of the lockers rather than having to buy new ones if yours are growing old, have creaky doors, or have lost keys. Our team of highly qualified engineers will maintain your lockers in excellent condition.

In this blog, we will explore when it is the best time to replace school lockers, considering factors such as safety, functionality, and overall aesthetics.

Some signs to look out for:

Physical Wear and Tear

Lockers endure a significant amount of physical stress from daily use. If you start noticing rust, dents, broken hinges, or malfunctioning locks, it may be an indication that the lockers no longer provide the level of security and functionality required. Regular inspections can help to identify these issues early on.

Outdated Design and Feature

Educational sectors should adapt to meet the evolving technological requirements. If the features on your school lockers fade to enhance convenience and security, it could be time for a change. Modern lockers might include advanced locking systems, better ventilation, as well as charging lockers to charge electronic belongings.

Safety Concerns

In every kind of learning environment, safety comes first. Lockers that have loose doors, sharp edges, or malfunctioning locking systems should all be fixed right away if they provide a safety risk.

Next steps in replacing school lockers


Before you do anything else, you should consider the materials and the kind of locker you want for your school. Even though metal material is a traditional locker, you may wish to upgrade to laminate lockers where the doors are solid grade laminate and mild steel carcass construction, it is composed of a more durable and unlikely to scratch or dent. Whilst laminate is more expensive, compared to metal lockers however it has more value towards the material as there wouldn’t be any replacement needed due to dents or scratches.


Next, you’ll need to think about what will be going into the lockers and how much space you’ll need for each compartment. Here at Helmsman, we have a variety of stages in the education sector. KS1 is 1250mm high whereas KS2 lockers are 1600mm high and available in 1 or 3 compartments, which is suitable for secondary and above. For both lockers, bespoke sizes and solutions are also offered.

Whilst our standard range is available up to 6 compartments which would mean that more students you will be providing for.


Keep in mind it’s not only about the lockers inside space. There are several more accessories, locking choices, and numbering options that are available for both laminate and metal lockers. Sloping tops are a popular option as they prevent the increase of dust and prevent the top of the lockers from being used as storage which can create a safety hazard if any items fall off.


Although the summer holiday may seem a long way away, it’s never too early to get in touch with us and start planning on replacing school lockers. You don’t want to miss the boat since there isn’t much time during the summer holiday to get repairs and replacements done. It’s possible that the laminate colour you’ve chosen has a longer lead time than anticipated or that you want our skilled staff to install the lockers during the busiest part of summer break. It’s also a good idea to plan ahead rather than wait, as all of our lockers are made to order.

Contact us today at 01284 530495 for more information about our school lockers or get your quote here.

Why do schools have lockers?


For many years, lockers have been widely seen in the educational sector, giving students a dedicated area to keep their belongings. Though they can appear to be straightforward metal or laminate storage spaces, lockers have several uses in schools other than just holding bags and books. We’ll consider the reasons why schools have lockers and how important these seemingly overlooked storage systems are to the educational process in the blog.

Organisation and efficience

Lockers provide the students an individual space to store their personal belongings and books, which helps them to maintain their organisation skills. This improves the efficiency of the learning environment as well as their daily routine. With students having a designated area for their belongings, students can efficiently and rapidly collect what they need for each lesson, reducing interruptions and extending the amount of time they spend learning.

Security for belongings

Students carry a range of personal belongings such as lunch, electronics, and PE (sports) uniforms. Lockers provide them with a safe space to keep their items during class hours, reducing the risk of loss or damage. This maintains the school community with security and trust while safeguarding the belongings of the pupils.

 Alleviating the burden of heavy backpacks

Throughout the day students who carry heavy backpacks full of textbooks, notebooks, and personal items, may cause students to experience back pains and discomfort. A solution for that would be provided by lockers, which give students a space to keep their stuff in between classes.

Preparing for future independence

The students that use lockers are better prepared for future events where organisation skills are essential. The capacity to manage one’s own area and possessions becomes more crucial as one may be heading to university or employment. These are vital life skills that are regularly practiced in lockers.


Lockers are more than just a basic storage space in schools, they are an essential part of establishing a welcoming and encouraging learning atmosphere. The provision of lockers enhances kids’ overall development by encouraging responsibility and organisation as well as a sense of safety and community.


Exeter School Lockers Projects

Helmsman Exeter projects

Throughout this project, we worked alongside the side with Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust schools and Pinnacle FM Ltd. This project was one of the biggest projects for Helmsman school lockers, as we manufactured and installed 804 four-compartment Laminate Metal Lockers in 4 different schools in Exeter. The schools were St. Peters, St. James, St. Luke’s, and Isca Academy. The overall project value was £165K.

Our design and CAD drawing team developed the lockers throughout the duration of the projects. Drawings contained what the lockers would look like, and the locations inside the schools for where the four-compartment school lockers will be distributed.

Laminate Metal Lockers

Laminate Metal lockers are an excellent choice for school lockers as they’re modern and popular and will hold up better to scratches, marks, and blemishes over the long term. The body of the lockers was metal powder coated in our standard colour of ‘Ice’. Whereas the laminate doors were coated in different shades of colours which each school has requested.


The specifications of all the lockers were 1775mm high, 300mm wide, and 450mm deep. The schools requested for the lockers to be manufactured with sloping tops. Sloping tops are an ideal and popular option as they prevent the accumulation of dust as well as using the top of the lockers as a storage which can create a safety hazard if any items fall off.


Here at Helmsman, we offer our clients a variety of accessories such as locks and different locker numbering. However, between the schools, the lockers were all finished with oval number plates above the Camlocks. Camlock is a great choice for school lockers as students are guaranteed that their belongings are safe.

If you want any information on school lockers, call us today at 01284 530421.

rental lockers

Why buy school lockers instead of renting?

With the modern schooling world providing students with more, and often heavier items to carry around during the school day, the benefits of school lockers are clear. Of course, with many locker providers around the UK, and both purchase and rental options, it can be overwhelming to think about where to get your school lockers from.

Of course, whilst renting lockers can have its positives, there are also lots of benefits to purchasing lockers instead of renting.


Firstly, should you purchase your own lockers, you can also buy a master key for the locks. This can be kept on-site, perhaps in the reception or office area of the school, and allows easy, immediate access to the lockers. This is particularly handy if a student misplaces their school locker key, or if access is needed to the lockers for security purposes by the school.


On the subject of keys, many rental locker companies can require students to return their keys at the end of the school year, so that the lockers can be reallocated to students the following year. This can pose a security risk if keys are not returned or could mean that the rental company requires access to the lockers during the school holidays to replace locks. This could pose an inconvenience as staff members would be required to come in during the summer break.


A common problem with school lockers is that they can be broken by students, whether this be with graffiti, dents, marks, or other damage. Should you rent your lockers, you’ll need to arrange for an engineer or service member from the rental company to come in to fix them. This can mean lockers are out of action for extended periods of time. Your own lockers can be maintained by yourselves, most damage caused by students could be fixed by your own caretakers and the lockers be useable much quicker.


Rental lockers might seem like a financial benefit for schools, particularly with budgets being cut and pennies being saved. However, rental lockers aren’t free. The parents of school children pay a yearly fee for the lockers, and in the current cost of living crisis, this may well be another thing parents just cannot afford. This can mean some students end up carrying around heavy bags all day simply because their families cannot afford to pay for a locker.

Of course, if you do decide to go down the route of purchasing lockers for your school, this can be costly. Whether you’re planning on purchasing metal lockers, laminate lockers, or something else entirely, it’s important to make sure you are buying lockers of high quality and from the right supplier. There are a lot of locker companies in the UK, many of which claim to be the UK’s leading suppliers. We at Helmsman are one of the UK’s largest manufacturers, meaning many of these suppliers will purchase their lockers from us to sell on. By coming directly to the manufacturers, you can avoid the extra margin charged by the suppliers and get the best price for your lockers.

Want to know more, or are thinking about replacing your school lockers? Contact our helpful Sales Team today on 01284 727626 or fill in our contact form here.

rental lockers
Blue and Orange Metal Lockers
school lockers
metal Lockers
Metal School Lockers

A Guide to School Lockers

With many people’s memories of school featuring lines of lockers filled with books, bags and stationery, have times really changed that much? Are lockers still as important in the modern schooling world?

The short answer would be yes. The number of books and stationery the average student needs on a day to day basis hasn’t changed all that much, especially if you consider adding a laptop or tablet to that load too. Medical experts specify that children should not carry more than 10% of their body weight, particularly on their backs. A recent study found that some children are carrying up to 20%, exceeding this recommendation. Lockers are a perfect solution to this problem.

There are many other benefits to providing your primary school or secondary school with long lasting lockers too:

  • They can provide space for staff to keep their belongings secure during the school day, away from reach of children.
  • Pupils have a safe place to store items, rather than the commonly used classroom drawers. This can be particularly useful for items such as phones and tablets, or other items that you don’t want distracting in classrooms.
  • Students can also gain a sense of responsibility for their own belongings and encourage them to keep a tidy workspace.

There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing school lockers. Our simple guide will help you decide what’s right for your school.


Many other lockers suppliers only offer a full-size locker and a Low-Level Locker. However, with over 40 years of experience working with the education industry, Helmsman has determined the ideal height of our school lockers for different age groups. Due to this, we manufacture three standard heights of school lockers.

  • Key Stage 1 Lockers at 1200mm
  • Key Stage 2 Lockers 1600mm
  • Full Sized Lockers at 1800mm

Of course, as we manufacture all our products to order in our Bury St Edmunds factory, we can also provide bespoke sizes and solutions for your school lockers. Whether this is to fit in a specific sized area, or to allow for additional compartments, we can discuss a fully bespoke option for your project.


Important things to consider when choosing your compartment options are how many students you are needing to cater for? What items will they be keeping in their lockers? And do you expect either of these answers to change in the future?

Our Key Stage 1 and 2 lockers can be supplied with 1 to 3 compartments, and our full-sized lockers can be manufactured with 1 to 6 compartments.


Before deciding what material you want your lockers to be manufactured from, you’ll need to decide on a few other factors first.

Where will the lockers be situated?

If they are going to be in a potentially wet area like a changing room, you’re going to need wet specification lockers with the body manufactured from stainless steel and aluminium. If they’re going in a corridor, you’ll just need a dry specification locker produced from mild steel.

What are they being used for?

The standard choice for school lockers is usually metal. Our metal locker door frames have added strength and security and can be manufactured from mild steel or zinc-plated metal. If your lockers are in high-traffic areas and likely to be bumped, scratched or caught, a laminate door provides a more heavy-duty option.

What’s the budget?

If you’re looking to keep costs down, a metal locker door will be the cheapest option, and our Helmsman lockers will stand the test of time. However, for a long lasting, heavy duty and more stylish looking locker, you could consider laminate doors. Whilst they are a more expensive option, the material will do much better at withstanding scratches, dents and scuffs, and perhaps save you money on repairs in the long run.


Helmsman’s school lockers come in a variety of colours and finishes. Our metal lockers can be powder coated in a range of colours, from the classic Royale blue to Pumpkin orange or Blush pink. We also have a selection of brilliant laminate suppliers, meaning we can offer bright pops of colour, wood effect laminates, and even carbon neutral options. We can match your school colour scheme, or even provide different coloured lockers for different sections of the building to help split up the allocation process, it’s entirely up to you.


As standard, our School Lockers come complete with either Cam locks or Hasp locks included in the price. These are both great options for primary and secondary school lockers, with the students simply needing either a key or a padlock. Master keys can also be provided for cam locks should students lose their keys.

Other options include combination locks, digital locks and more.


We offer a variety of extras with our lockers at Helmsman. A particularly popular option with school lockers are sloping tops. These are designed to stop any items from being placed on top of the lockers, keeping the area tidy and clutter free. Stands can be provided to lift the lockers from the ground, and seat stands can be a helpful addition to lockers within changing rooms.

For more information on our primary and secondary school lockers, or to talk to a member of our experienced team, call us on 01284727626 or click here and fill out our contact form.

metal Lockers
Metal School Lockers
Bespoke Primary School Lockers
5 door laminate lockers
5 compartment metal lockers
Cube Lockers
Lockers with locks
metal lockers
Laminate School Lockers
metal lockers

Replacing School Lockers

Do they need replacing?

There are many reasons why you might think the lockers in your school need replacing. Perhaps they’re looking old and worn out, maintenance bills are piling up or you simply just need to cater for more students than before. Whatever the reasons, it is worth thinking about replacing your school lockers with plenty of time to prepare.

Unsure about whether your lockers need replacing or just some TLC? If your lockers are getting old, have creaky doors, or have keys missing, it’s possible that Helmsman can help with the maintenance and service of the lockers rather than having to purchase new ones. Our service team consists of highly skilled engineers to keep your lockers as good as new.

However, there will be occasions where your lockers are approaching the end of their life and need replacing. If your metal lockers have started to rust, from exposure to moisture, or the wrong cleaning products, they will likely need replacing before the rust spreads and affects the appearance and usage of the lockers.

Maybe your lockers have been repaired a few too many times and the maintenance is becoming too costly. At this point, it can be helpful to weigh up the cost of repeat repairs versus the cost of new lockers which don’t require expensive upkeep. If the parts you require are no longer available due to the age of your existing lockers, this may also be a reason to upgrade the lockers to avoid having to pay out for more difficult to source items.

If the use of your lockers has changed, and they are now too small or too large for the intended users, an upgrade could be helpful to save space or provide a more user-friendly option. As lockers can have a relatively long lifespan, it might be that the school has changed its layout since they were installed. If you’re wanting to move the lockers to a different area of the school, and the area won’t fit as many lockers, it could be a great time to upgrade them, or if the area has more space perhaps, you’ll want to purchase more.

If priorities have changed, for example, you require lockers that are intended for use by more than one individual, the locks you have might not be providing what you need. Plus, with new technology available you may have a need for extras such as heated or charging lockers.


What are the next steps in replacing your school lockers?

So you’ve decided you do need to upgrade your school lockers; now there are a lot of things to consider before you place an order.

Material and finish

Firstly, you’ll need to think about what material or type of locker you want for the school. Whilst the traditional school locker is made from metal, it may be that you want to upgrade to a more long lasting material such as a laminate locker. These are made with a mild steel carcass and have solid grade laminate doors, providing a more heavy duty product which is less likely to dent or scratch. Whilst a laminate locker is more expensive, the upgrade in material could pay for itself in the long run by being easier to keep clean and damage free, resulting in less maintenance costs.


Lockers can come in all sorts of sizes and designs, so make sure to think about which is going to be the best option for your school lockers. Within Helmsman’s School Locker range we cater for KS1 students, KS2 students, and our standard locker range is suitable for secondary schools and above. These range from a height of 1200mm, up to 1800mm, however as we manufacture our lockers in house, to order, we can cater to any specific needs you may have.


Next, you’ll need to think about what will be going into the lockers and how much space you’ll need in each compartment. Our KS1 and KS2 lockers are available in 1-3 compartments, whilst our standard range is available in up to 6 compartments. The more compartments you choose, the more students you can provide lockers for, however, this does mean each individual compartment will be smaller. So it’s important to think about what your lockers will be used for.


Don’t forget, it’s not just about the internal area of the locker. Both laminate and metal lockers can come with many additional extras, locking options, finishes, and numbering choices. Sloping tops mean that clutter can’t be stored on top of the lockers and potentially cause damage and locker stands can be provided with cladding to stop things being lost underneath.


Whilst the summer holidays might seem a long way away, it’s never too early to contact us and get the ball rolling. With the short window of time in the summer holidays to get repairs and replacements sorted you don’t want to miss the boat. It might be that the laminate colour you’re wanting is on a longer lead time than expected, or you’re wanting the lockers installed by our professional team in the peak period of the summer break. Plus, with all of our lockers manufactured to order, it’s better to be prepared sooner rather than later.

Take a read of our Education Brochure here to find out more about our range of school lockers, cubicles and other products.

Contact us today on 01284727626 for more information about our school lockers and talk to our team about the different options available to you. Alternatively, send us a quote request here.

Metal School Lockers
Heavy Duty Primary School Lockers
Metal School Lockers
Refurbishing lockers and cubicles
Primary School Lockers
mccormick staff lockers
Primary School Lockers

What are the best lockers for Primary Schools?

School Lockers

Helmsman has over 70 years of experience in the school locker industry, and over these years have perfected the design and size of our lockers for each intended purpose. With research and development, we know that the standard sizes for Primary School lockers should be as follows. Our Key stage 1 lockers are 1250mm high and Key stage 2 lockers are 1600mm high in order to be the best fit for each age group. We have two ranges of primary school lockers, our laminate lockers and essential metal lockers. Both options are available from one to three compartments due to the height options.

Laminate Lockers

Our laminate style lockers are aesthetically pleasing, durable and easy to maintain. These are a more expensive option compared to metal lockers. Due to this, laminate lockers are probably more suitable for a smaller size primary school or a SEND primary school to withstand tougher measures. Laminate lockers provide a great range of colours and styles, perfect to match the modern interior. Anti-bacterial laminate is also available to provide better protection against germs which has been in the forefront of many peoples minds in recent times.

Essential Metal Lockers

Essential metal lockers are a classic choice for most schools. These lockers are reliable, easy to upkeep and a perfect storage solution. The mild steel metal body and doors can be powder-coated in any Helmsman RAL colour. However, most primary schools like to go for standard ‘ice’ bodies and the primary colour of blue, yellow or red doors as this is considered educational. Separating each year group with a different colour can also help pupils to differentiate between lockers and specific areas.

Locker storage in primary schools doesn’t tend to have any security issues, so swivel locks are a good option. They are convenient and work as a handle for easy opening and closing of the locker. Swivel locks are part of our standard range and come at no extra cost with both the laminate and metal lockers. Additional extras such as sloping tops and cladded stands should be considered to keep the lockers clean and clear from clutter.

If you would like more information on our Primary School lockers, please contact us today.

School and staff lockers covid secure

How to ensure your school and staff lockers are covid secure?

School and staff lockers covid secure

We all thought 2021 would be the year where things will be ‘normal’ again, however, as we are going into 2022, this is not the case. Coronavirus is still a major scare, and we all want to stay protected. Many schools, offices and workplaces have changed the way they run and take extra precautions to protect students and staff across the board.

One simple way to promote good hygiene in the school and office environments is by reducing the number of items that enter the small rooms, meeting rooms and classrooms from outside environments. Even after we move on from the pandemic, responsible hygiene practices will remain a key focus for schools, offices and the wider community.

Student lockers

Many parents are concerned about the number of things their children will have to carry around the school, especially if they have expensive smartphones, tablets or laptops. Therefore, more and more parents want their children to have a locker.

If students are staggered and there is a timetable when students can use their lockers during different periods of the day, school lockers are not only a great storage solution, but they eliminate the risk of students carrying too many items during the day. Going from one classroom to another carrying all their belongings, then they are at higher risk of picking up germs, from surfaces and transporting it around wherever they go around the school and taking it back home too.

The virus can survive and live on various surfaces for up to 72 hours. Our Essential Metal Lockers are extremely simple to maintain and keep clean with their practical design and slim structure. They don’t take up too much space, so they can fit into a narrow hallway without feeling too cramped or causing too much overcrowding. They can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth each day to get rid of any lingering germs too. Each locker can be safely locked with a key or its locker padlock, for extra security.

Our laminate lockers are also ideal for schools, as anti-bacterial laminate can be supplied for better protection against germs. These lockers are durable and reliable as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Staff lockers

Teachers and other members of staff are now returning to work, and they need to feel safe and secure in their workplace. Many teachers require a lot of supplies during their teaching day, which may be hard to keep out of the reach of young children. This again is another risk for the transmission of the virus and germs spreading around the classroom unnecessarily. Providing staff lockers gives employees a space to store high valued belongings such as laptops that they may not want to travel with back and forth every day.

Leaving such items securely in their lockers, sealed with their locker padlock or an individual key gives them peace of mind. It also means that they are carrying less on their commute home, and this is crucial in these present times, especially if their main form of transportation is on public buses or trains. The less they are carrying, the less chance of their belongings being touched by strangers and any germs being spread around further.

For more information about what we can offer you and how we can ensure your lockers are covid secure email us at or give us a call on 01284 727626.

Multipurpose metal lockers

What’s the best locker for multipurpose use?

Multipurpose metal lockers

The locker industry has come a long way, but it all began in ancient Greece approximately 2500 years ago. Back in those days, changing room and the locker room was an essential part of competition and training centres for athletes. Even then lockers had a multipurpose and multi-user functionality. We all know that a locker is a unit, usually with narrow storage compartments available in changing rooms, locker rooms or dressing rooms. Some facilities may have a locker room attendant who can look after your belongings until you come back to take them. Since the conceptualisation of lockers, they have always been used to store valuable personal items.

Today’s lockers can be found in many different locations, not just changing rooms or specific locker rooms. They can also be in shopping malls, hospitals, and offices. Lockers can have many purposes, storage still being the main function but with additional purposes of charging sockets for smart devices, drying clothing, and distributing items such as uniforms.

Helmsman has been manufacturing lockers for over 40 years. We define ourselves as are bespoke manufacture of lockers and cubicles. Even the standard metal lockers can be modified to specific and bespoke sizes to fit any environment and project.

Multipurpose Metal Lockers

Our Essential Metal Lockers are the lockers that can do the job in any environment or location. These multipurpose lockers are suitable for schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and workplaces. We offer a safe and secure storage solution for personal possessions, tools, books, gym bags and other valuables.

Helmsman essential range can use different locking systems for multipurpose use. For example, the KL1000 locking system is one of the most innovative ideas to surface in access control for a while. This allows the lock to operate with a single-use code. The guest enters a personal four-digit code twice to confirm the correct entry. Anyone could use these lockers, staff, or customers.

For more information about our Essential Metal Lockers range contact us today.

Refurbishing lockers and cubicles

Prime Time for Refurbishment

Refurbishing lockers and cubicles

Summer months can be the perfect opportunity to schedule projects to upgrade and refurbish changing areas and locker rooms in schools and sports facilities. Security and durability are highly important when refurbishing your lockers and cubicles. At Helmsman, we can replace locks, keys, locker doors and cubicle locks if needed. We can even add more security to your changing room cubicles with anti-peep rails and anti-finger trap solutions. We have a variety of cost-effective options.

School Sector

School lockers see a lot of action. Vandalism issues aside, school lockers need to withstand daily use. Metal lockers have been a favourite of schools; however, we have noticed a new trend from schools using laminate lockers. Laminate lockers are aesthetically pleasing, and more so are incredibly durable.

Many schools are still favouring cam locks and swivel locks as a locking system. These locking systems are easily interchangeable and Helmsman can offer swivel locks and padlocks as a pair for your school lockers. Locker keys and master keys are also easily replaceable. We manufacture keys in-house.

Helmsman can provide metal and laminate colour samples for large projects if doors need to be replaced because of damage or wear and tear. Changing locker doors is a hassle-free job, and depending on the number of lockers, our installation and service team can have it in place in no time. Summer holidays are the perfect time to renew and replace lockers and cubicles. During this time, schools are empty, and maintenance work can without any disturbance.

Leisure Sector

Leisure facilities, gyms and spa health centres are oozing luxury as they mostly use digital locks for smart-looking lockers. We can replace digital locks or can replace doors and upgrade your lockers with digital locks. The advantages of having leisure lockers with digital locks are endless. Security and convenience is a top priority for the customer.

Helmsman can easily replace your old wrist straps if you still choose to use the reliable key and strap. Master key or locker key replacements are easily achievable and will be with you in no time by post. Other replacement and refurbishment services, including cubicles, can be assessed by a site survey and replaced by our installation and maintenance team.

We offer free consultation about the services you may require and help you decide what is best for your site. Helmsman specialists would be happy to do a site survey for large projects before refurbishing your lockers and cubicles. Our service goes beyond the leisure and school industries too. We can refurbish offices and other commercial sites.

For more information, get in touch with us today! Email or fill in our contact form here.

Enquire Now