Education: Sitting pretty

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The Independent Online
Caroline Harwood, deputy head of Liss Junior School, Hampshire, sits on a specially designed chair talking to one of her pupils (left). The school spent its furnishing allowance on tailor-made wooden furniture. Judy Lunnon, the headteacher, says: "We're very concerned with the whole child. We encourage good posture from the beginning to prevent back problems in later life."

After seeing dozens of "dreadful" plastic chairs and "uncomfortable" wooden alternatives, Ms Lunnon decided to have chairs specially designed. A wooden prototype with a forward-sloping seat and curved back support was approved. The school now has 260 in two heights.

"Although these chairs are rather expensive - pounds 25 each compared with pounds 10 for plastic, it is a worthwhile investment," she says. "The children no longer get backache and they don't fidget like they used to. They have really helped with concentration."

Photograph: Andrew Hassan