Now more than ever it’s vital to order your new school or college furniture as early as possible ……

If you’ve ever had the job of ordering school or college furniture for the start of a new academic year you’ll know that  it can be fraught with  problems.  Will the tables for the new teaching block arrive in time  ?   Will there be enough chairs for the new intake …….?

The production of educational furniture  (desks, tables, storage cupboards, classroom and office chairs etc) is highly seasonal.   Thousands of schools, from Penzance to Aberdeen  place their orders from April to August and expect to take delivery in time for the start of the Autumn term in September…

Unfortunately it’s almost impossible for manufacturers to meet such a demand and ensure that every school or college gets what they want in time….simply because there’s not enough production  and transport capacity to meet the extra demand in the summer months.

And this year,  the year of covid 19,  has thrown a massive big spanner in the works as several furniture manufacturers have been shut down for nearly two months…..  thus reducing production capacity even more.

 Is there a way to improve the odds of getting your furniture delivered on time ….. ?

 Here are FIVE things you can do:

  1. Decide as soon as possible exactly what products you want to order. This may mean discussion with the site manager, the finance office, heads of departments ….but it should be done as a matter of urgency. 
  1. If at all possible your premises should be open for deliveries during part or all of the summer holidays. This will mean that manufacturers can make AND deliver your orders before the start of the new  term.   By doing so this will also reduce the bottleneck at the start of September.
  1. If possible, be flexible. This is particularly important if you are late in finalising your orders. If you specify a  different type of  chair or table or a different colour it may mean that they arrive in time, whereas  your  ideal choice might not be able to be delivered until October.
  1. Contact some local schools and see if there is a way of collaborating. One school may have spare tables, another may have excess chairs.  It may be possible to borrow / loan / swap to    help each other out.

5. Last but not least…and this is very important.    If you are replacing existing products then do not dispose of them until your new furniture arrives.  This is vital as it means that even if the new furniture does not arrive on time then at least you can continue to use your existing chairs, tables etc.

If you are planning to order new furniture then please contact  Central Educational Supplies Ltd., They have been supplying schools and colleges since 2004 and would be pleased to help. They can make suggestions and  offer alternatives if you are having difficulty in obtaining exactly what you want.  Their links with UK manufacturers and importers mean that they are able to
source a wide variety of educational furniture.

Contact:     Central Educational Supplies Ltd.,  PO Box  999,  London  E14 6SH


Their advice is free and without obligation, so if you’d like to chat and maybe discuss your furniture  requirements please phone:  020 7515 1797  and ask to speak to Martin Evans. You’ll get the facts and impartial advice without any “hard sell.”    That’s a promise.


Three things you MUST do to give your school or college a better chance of getting your new furniture delivered before the start of the new term in September.

If you’ve ever had the job of ordering new chairs, tables, desks, cupboards etc  in time for the start of a new school year then you’ll realise that it’s rarely an easy job.

What’s the problem ….?  

Thousands of schools throughout the UK will  be doing the same thing…all wanting their orders delivered in plenty of time so students have got chairs to sit on, tables to work at and lockers to store their gear in when schools resume in September (or August if they live in Scotland)

The problem is that manufacturing is squeezed into a relatively  short space of time (usually between April and August)  and it’s simply not possible to make AND deliver thousands of orders throughout the UK  in the last couple of weeks in August.  The problem is compounded  if schools cannot take deliveries during the summer holidays.  In such cases not only do their orders have to be manufactured but they also have to be stored until schools reopen and can take deliveries.


In keeping with many other industries, some manufacturers of educational furniture shut down for at least two months earlier in the year.  This has had the effect of reducing production capacity even more.

The situation is grim but there are three things you can do to give your school or college a better chance of getting what you need in time for the start of the new term.


  1. Decide as soon as possible exactly what needs to be ordered. This often requires discussion between  eg. the finance office, site manager, heads of departments  etc. but it’s vital that orders are finalised as a matter of urgency.   The longer you leave it the less likely you are to get an on time delivery.


  1. If possible, make sure that your premises are open for deliveries during part or all of  the holidays, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks.  This will make it easier for  manufacturers to  deliver before school  begins.


  1. If possible, be flexible. This is especially important if you have left ordering till “late in the day.”  In  such cases, make enquiries about delivery dates for your first choice products….then consider   alternatives,  eg. different colours,  sizes,  designs.   By choosing slightly different products it may mean that they arrive ready for the new term, whereas your first choice products may not have arrived until the end of September or even the beginning of October.


There’s just one other suggestion I’d make, but it’s a very important one.   Never ever dispose of your existing furniture until your new stock arrives.  I’ve known schools who have cleared out old tables and chairs from classrooms (so the rooms could be renovated) and then discovered there’d be a delay with their new furniture.   The result…. ?      No chairs for students to sit on or tables to work at.


If you are planning to order new furniture then I’d be pleased to help. My name is Martin Evans and I’m one of the directors of  Central Educational Supplies Ltd.   We have been supplying schools and colleges with chairs, tables, desks, storage equipment etc since 2004.

We’re always glad to give advice, make suggestions or provide quotations for your requirements.  Our advice is free and without obligation.  If you just want a chat about what’s available and the likely lead time then do give us a call  Tel:  020 7515 1797  or an email:  or visit our website:   Do get in touch. It could mean you get your new furniture sooner than might otherwise be the case.   One thing I promise. You’ll get straight answers and no “hard sell.”

Central Educational Supplies Ltd.,  PO Box 999,  London  E14 6SH