How to lease lockers for your school

With school budgets under unprecedented pressure, it can be difficult to find the money for equipment upgrades, or new purchases. …

Published: March 4, 2024

With school budgets under unprecedented pressure, it can be difficult to find the money for equipment upgrades, or new purchases. 

School lockers are one such purchase that can be difficult to fund upfront, but have you ever considered leasing them for your school instead?

At Utility Rentals, we have been providing compliant lease finance to schools for 30 years, helping them kit out their classrooms with everything from sewing machines to iPads

Unlike some providers, we never pass any of the cost on to parents, which we think is especially important during this cost of living crisis. Instead, your leasing agreement is strictly between you, us, and your chosen equipment supplier. 

If you choose to lease your school lockers through Utility Rentals, you will be providing this valuable resource to the children at no cost to their parents. Not only does this help preserve those all-important relationships with families, it works out substantially cheaper, too. Our fully compliant operating leases are up to five times less expensive than an arrangement with a company that charges parents a rental fee for their child’s locker.

Let’s explore the subject of school lockers: why they matter, and how you can finance them for your school. 

Why are school lockers important?

Students benefit greatly from being assigned their own locker, for three main reasons:

1) Security

With most modern students bringing their mobile phones and other devices to school, having somewhere safe to store their belongings is important. This is especially true when they’re doing PE, for example. A locker protects valuable and important items from loss or damage during the school day.

2) Privacy

A locker offers a student a small space in the school that is just theirs. They can personalise their locker, and use it to keep their possessions safe. Giving students this private space builds trust, and encourages respect for their own and each other’s belongings.

3) Health

Lugging heavy textbooks and laptops around can lead to issues with neck and back pain, as well as bad posture. Giving students somewhere to store their belongings when not in use can help alleviate some of these health concerns. 

Types of lockers

What type of lockers does your school need? There are three main considerations:

1) Materials

Temporary ‘knock-down’ lockers are the cheapest option, but they’re less secure and will need replacing sooner than permanent lockers, which are more costly but more durable. 

The location earmarked for your lockers should also guide your decision. Do you need lockers for a changing room with a built-in bench, slimline ones for a hallway, sturdy ones for a dedicated locker room or even waterproof lockers for external use?

Once upon a time, steel lockers were your only option. While secure and weighty, this type of locker costs more, can be tricky to repair or replace and easily damaged by water.

Plastic lockers are a viable option these days. They’re as vandal-proof than their steel counterparts and almost completely resistant to the elements, meaning you can save on space by situating them outside.

Or, for the best of both worlds, you could opt for laminate door lockers, which attach premium laminated doors to steel locker housings. These lockers have a slick finish and broad range of colour options.

2) Size

Choosing the right sized locker is all about balance. Larger lockers offer more versatility, but could take up a lot of floor space in a school with thousands of pupils.

To some extent, you can base your locker on your educational practices and intended use. For example, if you rely on iPads and don’t use many textbooks, your pupils may need less space. 

A standard locker is designed to hold up to 14 kg of books, a coat, backpack and folders. It should be around 133,000 cubic cm per pupil (38cm x 38cm x 91.5cm). 

For a changing room, you should aim for a smaller capacity of around 88,500 cubic cm per pupil (38cm x 38cm x 61cm).

3) Security

You have a few options when it comes to locker security:

Built-in locks

Built-in locks are more secure and harder to break. They generally require a recessed handle, but you can choose between key locks, combination locks and even electronic locks.

Removable padlocks

The other option is for your students to use removal padlocks, which can be brought in or supplied by the school. This often works out cheaper, but isn’t as secure and gives your school less control. With padlocks, a locker with single-point locks is recommended to improve durability.


You could also consider your locker colour scheme.

You could encourage pride in the school by opting for lockers in the school colours — especially in sports changing rooms. Or, you could use colours to differentiate between year groups or form groups.

Options for acquiring new lockers

If your school needs new lockers for students, you have a number of options available.

You can buy them outright – although this will eat into your capital budget. Or, you can lease them via Utility Rentals, like Hilden Grange Preparatory School, who contacted us after realising the enormous cost of buying new lockers. 

In the words of Lisa Beal, Hilden Grange’s Head of Science, “I came across Utility Rentals on the internet when searching for school locker providers and was very impressed by their offering. They listened to our requirements before providing options which perfectly suited our needs. Not only was the product great, but renting was a great way of spreading and managing the cost.” 

We only offer 100% compliant operating leases, and we always offer the option to include any installation or maintenance costs in the agreement too – giving you a fixed, affordable regular payment with no unpleasant surprises.

If you have already found a supplier, they can enter into an agreement with us to enable you to lease, rather than buy, your new lockers. Or, if you don’t have a supplier yet, we can put you in contact with one of our trusted partners to find the perfect set of lockers for your school.

Get in touch with our friendly team for an initial, no-obligation chat.


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