The Mail is reporting that a school has been criticised by parents after banning pupils from going to the toilet during lessons – even locking the doors during class times…
Parents of pupils at Westlands School and Sittingbourne Community College in Sittingbourne, Kent, were outraged after being told their children could only go to the loo during lessons if they had a note from their doctor.
The two secondary schools, both part of the Swale Academies Trust, have a grand total of 2,700 pupils between them, with 1,600 at Westlands School and 1,100 at SCC.
School authorities say the only children allowed to go to the loo during lesson times are those who hand their teacher a note from their doctor with a ‘relevant medical condition’.
One father, who asked not to be named, said his 12-year-old son, a pupil at SCC, came home last week and told him about the ban.
The 42-year-old said: ‘My son came home and told me that all the school toilets were locked when they were in their lessons.
‘He said that one pupil asked to go, saying they were desperate and they were told they could only go during break time.
‘The simple fact is that children are embarrassed to ask in front of their friends, so the school will end up dealing with a lot of wee on the floor if they don’t change the policy.’…
Mother Sam Bright, whose daughter is in Year 8, said: ‘She was absolutely bursting the other week and she was told that she couldn’t go and to sit back down unless she had a medical note.’
…Simon Cox, the head of Westlands School, said the only toilets open to children during lessons were at the nurse’s office.
He added: ‘During lessons, when teachers are in classrooms, safeguarding protocols would suggest that it is not common sense to allow pupils to have access to toilet areas which are not supervised.
‘We encourage pupils to use our extensive toilet facilities at break time and lunchtime, but the school provides an alternative facility during lessons, which is supervised by our support team.’
SCC head teacher Fiona Trigwell said: ‘The policy of the school is children don’t go to the toilet during lesson hours.’
A spokeswoman for children’s charity ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence), which campaigns on the slogan ‘Every Child Has The Right To Go’, said the policy was ‘totally wrong’…
So how do other schools deal with this? If toilets are open during lessons do they tend to be abused and do students make excuses to go in order to waste time? How do you recommend schools get the balance right? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter and take part in our poll…
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