Concerns as teachers forced to share school toilets with pupils

The TES is reporting concerns raised by the NASUWT that teachers are being forced to share toilet facilities with pupils in growing numbers of schools…

The NASUWT said the situation in new school buildings was compromising the dignity of staff and pupils, and leaving teachers vulnerable to accusations of inappropriate behaviour…

The union says that many new school buildings exploit a loophole in workplace health and safety legislation that demand separate toilets, by just providing shared disabled facilities.

Antoinette Mutton, a supply teacher from Essex, said she was coming across “more and more” schools where staff and student toilet facilities were shared.

She told of being in a hurry in a school building where the designated staff toilet was a disabled toilet.

“Imagine my horror when I opened the door and there was a year 11 boy, luckily with his back to me, standing using the toilet,” she told delegates.

“Once my brain had started to function properly I began to appreciate the enormity of what had just happened and I went on to report the incident to as many senior staff as I could.

“I didn’t want to be accused of keeping it quiet… that could have been the end of my career.”

Department for Education guidance on school building standards published in May 2013 says that to meet regulations, suitable toilet and washing facilities must be “provided for the sole use of pupils”.

But it adds “where separate facilities are provided for pupils who are disabled, they may also be used by other pupils, staff, supply staff, volunteers and visitors, whether or not they are disabled”.

Jackie Scannell, a teacher from South Essex, told the conference:  “We have legislation that states there should be separate toilets…but that is being got round by having the facilities for the disabled which can be used by both staff and children.

“In lots of new buildings they are the only toilets that are being put in. We don’t have a choice in many buildings to be able to use separate toilet facilities. We should have.”…

More at: Teachers forced to share school toilets with pupils

How widespread is this becoming and how much of an issue is it? Could it be argued that having staff share the same toilets will make them safer for children? Please tell us what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Safeguarding.

Comments

  1. artmadnana

    SchoolsImprove no surprise. Facilities for teachers in schools have always been cheap. Had my inherited desk and chair for over 20 years!

  2. Aveda

    Interesting statement that H&S demands separate toilets in schools, as FE staff have had to share toilets with students for at least 25 years+. 
    Wonder if this also affects the new UTC’s which are opening mainly in former office buildings, and have Year 10 & 11 students?  Same rules as schools or adopt FE practices?

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