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Tolworth School Outdoor Dining Canopy

The benefits of an outdoor dining canopy for schools

By: Oli Birch Category: Canopies

Outdoor dining canopies are an essential feature for schools looking to maximise the space available on their campus.

With nearly 25 per cent of secondary schools and sixth forms over capacity in 2022, alongside 17 per cent of primaries, it’s essential schools get the most out of the space they have to accommodate the growing number of pupils.

However, utilising outdoor areas as a means of doing this is often overlooked by establishments that may not realise the potential their school has.

In this blog, we’ll outline the importance of outdoor dining canopies and explore the benefits below in greater depth:

  • Reducing the risk of overcrowding
  • Versatility
  • Promoting interaction with nature

Reducing the risk of overcrowding

As the aforementioned statistic shows, over 40% of schools and colleges in the UK have more students than they have space available, which can lead to overcrowding at busy times throughout the day.

Canopies allow schools to expand beyond their dining hall to a sheltered area outside and free up vital space inside, to alleviate overcrowding and create a more comfortable dining experience.

Furthermore, having a functional outside space reduces the chance of long queues forming inside as students wait for school lunches or finding a place to eat.

Dining Canopy Katherine Warrington School


While the main function could be to increase dining space, canopies also provide schools with a host of other benefits as a result of their versatility.

When not in use during break and lunch times, dining canopies can be repurposed as a space for educational activities like outdoor learning, experiments or study sessions.

Furthermore, schools would also have the opportunity to participate in initiatives like Outdoor Classroom Day or Comic Relief without compromising the space inside.

Alternatively, beyond the educational benefits, schools could have the chance to generate additional income by hosting external events or hiring the space.

Interaction with nature

Nature has a profound impact on our well-being, mental health and cognitive function, with research proving that an exposure to fresh air, natural light and the environment helps to improve productivity, enhance our mood and reduce stress levels.

And outdoor dining canopies promote this interaction, giving students the chance to experience the benefits of being outside in both a social and educational setting.


Outdoor dining canopies offer a practical and versatile solution for schools looking to maximise their external space.

From freeing up vital internal areas to helping to improve student welfare, they provide a plethora of benefits to schools and help to create a positive learning environment.

If you’d like to discuss a outdoor dining canopy for your school, contact us here and one of our expert team will assist you.

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