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Sensory Rooms in Schools: Common Obstructions and How to Solve Them

Sensory Rooms in Schools blog title graphic

Sensory rooms in schools are becoming increasingly common – the education system has recognised the benefits of a sensory room for both pupils with specific difficulties, such as Autism, and pupils with behavioural issues or anxiety.

If you work in a school and are convinced that a sensory room would make a world of difference but are coming up against objections, it could be difficult to get the project off the ground.

In this week’s blog we are looking at some common objections or perceived problems with installing a sensory room in a school and how you can resolve them.

Sensory Rooms in Schools

More and more schools are adding sensory rooms to their properties – either as education tools or to provide a space for children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend mainstream school.

In a mainstream school setting Sensory rooms can be called ‘quiet zones’ or ‘chill out spaces’; whatever the name, they essentially provide the same benefits. Used as a calming environment for children who may be overwhelmed by school, such as children with Autism, anxiety, ADHD and behavioural issues.

Sensory rooms are not used as ‘time out’ or punishment; rather as a tool to help children take time away from overstimulating classrooms and develop their self-regulating skills.

A school who recently installed a sensory room, christened ‘the nest’, is Northlands Wood Primary Academy in Haywards Heath. Headteacher Mark Sears has seen the benefits already and said: “This much-needed space will allow our fledglings to rise from ‘The Nest’ with reduced anxiety levels and a better ability to re-engage in their learning.”

Clearly, schools across the country are recognising the benefits but it doesn’t come without difficulties; there may be concerns or objections that can stall a project, usually financial or staffing concerns.

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Common Objections and How to Process Them

Here are some common objections or concerns when it comes to installing a sensory room in your school and why oftentimes, they needn’t be concerns at all.

“We don’t have enough room”

This is a valid concern but with a modular sensory room there is no need to find additional internal space. This type of sensory room is constructed offsite and then lifted onto the school property. Sensory rooms can easily be accommodated in playgrounds or car parks.

“Where would we get the money from?”

This can be one of the biggest struggles when it comes to sensory rooms; with school budgets being tight and no additional funding available it can seem that your project is a nonstarter. Instead of looking at this as an obstacle, start fundraising! Even it takes a couple of years to raise the money, it’s a goal to work towards. Fundraising can involve parents, pupils, and the wider local community and businesses.

“We don’t have any specialist knowledge”

You might think that you need specialist advice to install a sensory room and, in many cases, this would be wise. But it’s not an issue; most sensory room builders will be able to offer their expert advice when you make an enquiry and you can also contact Autism charities for advice. Groups like the National Autistic Society often provide consultation and advice on project like this for free.

“How would we staff the sensory room?”

Again, there is help available for staffing if you look in the right place. Approach specialist support groups in your area and check if they would be able to provide voluntary assistance. You can also get in touch with Universities or colleges that have students studying childcare and childcare with special needs to discuss placements.

Contact iHUS for More Advice

We hope that the information above provided you with some of the answers that you need but if you have any more questions about sensory rooms in schools, then please get in touch.

iHUS design and install modular sensory rooms that are perfect for education settings and our team have years of experience between them so can offer a wealth of advice to you and your school.

Get in touch

If you simply have a question for us, please submit your details, along with a quick message, and we’ll back to you ASAP. You can also reach us on 0808 1641111 or email us at enquiries@ihusprojects.com

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