Finding the solution for schools as Australia prepares to return to face to face learning.

Schools in Australia have begun to gradually welcome back students, but classrooms may look a little different as teachers navigate social distancing guidelines. One Australian company that is helping to assist with this challenge and make the return to the classroom safer and easier for both students and teachers, is Mumble™ By Design.

Founded in 2017 with a core purpose of addressing acoustical issues in large open plan learning spaces, Mumble aims to provide affordable and flexible solutions that can be used at home and in schools – such as its Screen-ED™ which provides a safe barrier between students and teachers.

An Australian designed and made desk dividing screen, originally designed to allow teachers to create individual workspaces has been adopted in the newer 21st Century classroom layout around Australia and the world. Screen-ED™ is a temporary screen that packs flat and can very easily be wiped down and sprayed with an aerosol disinfectant – making them perfect for schools that are currently navigating the return of students during COVID-19.

Mumble™ By Design is being implemented in schools in Australia, and across the US, so that when they return in the Fall, they are ready and fully adapted to the change. According to the World Health Organisation[1], schools are advised to Implement social distancing practices that may include:

  • Staggering the beginning and end of the school day
  • Cancelling assemblies, sports games and other events that create crowded conditions
  • When possible, create space for children’s desks to be at least one metre apart
  • Teach and model creating space and avoiding unnecessary touching

With many schools in Australia lacking the budget to do a complete overhaul renovation with new furniture, and at short notice, the Mumble by Design screens provides a safe and permanent solution to prevent transferring body fluids and to ensure children maintain a safe distance from each other and their teachers.

“In an ideal world the classroom may be big enough to pull desks apart and create distance between students (as they are doing in Denmark) whilst seated at desks and on the floor, however, the reality is that unless we start redesigning schools and employing more teachers to create smaller classes we need to find a solution and work with what we have.

This is even more so for schools who have already transformed their classrooms into 21st Century Learning Environments. The type of furniture utilised in these environments allow for rearranging around the room, however, most of the tables are shared desks to promote collaboration with multiple students seated at a large boardroom type table.” – Jacqueline Hawksworth, Founder.

Without breaking the already strained school budgets, Mumble By Design is offering a practical solution to aid schools in better achieving physical distancing. There is no massive outlay, no installation needed, and no replacement of furniture required.


Mumble by Design is all about Acoustic Solutions, launching in 2017, Mumble™ specialises in addressing the issue of sound quality in large open plan spaces, such as those now found in innovative learning spaces in educational facilities across the world. All products are designed and made in Australia and made from recycled content. Mumble offers fun and bright designs that address the sound issue at an affordable price.

Mumble™ ‘s acoustic solutions can contribute to improving the sound quality in classrooms, improve speech intelligibility and ultimately learning outcomes, all through easy integrating into existing room structures.

All Mumble Acoustic Products have been:

  • Fire Tested: Early Fire Hazard Properties (AS/NZS 1530.3)
  • designed and made in Australia from Australian and imported materials.
  • made with the environment in mind, as all products and packaging can be recycled.
  • created with knowledge of the current pedagogies and design trends.

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[1] WHO: Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools, March 2020