Pupils are avoiding school toilets because they are dirty, a survey by ERIC has revealed. Avoidance occurs for a couple of reasons and can have an impact on health and well-being for pupils. A campaign is being introduced to get the Government to introduce new laws regulating the standard of toilets in schools.
A quarter of pupils in England’s schools avoid using toilets, according to a new survey by a charity which today launches a campaign to get the Government to introduce new regulations to make school toilets healthier and easier to use.
ERIC, the UK charity helping children with continence problems, points out that the limited regulations that do exist don’t include vital things like supply of toilet paper or soap. ERIC’s campaign gives the opportunity for parents to show their support by signing an online petition for a new ‘Bog Standard’. Lobbying letters will be sent to Government Ministers, and the charity is seeking a meeting with the Schools Minister to press its case.
Regulations to ensure toilet and water facilities used by school staff meet proper standards do not extend to toilets used by pupils. School toilets have a big impact on health and well-being but many schools are failing their pupils with poorly maintained, dirty and smelly toilets.
The newly published survey revealed that:
- a quarter of pupils said they avoid going to the toilet because they are dirty
- 31% pupils said they had toilets with broken locks
- 19% pupils avoid drinking so they don’t have to go to the toilet
- 53% parents felt their child does not drink enough at school
- 91% parents thoughts pupil toilets should be cleaned twice a day or more
- 91% parents thought that cleanliness/condition of pupil toilets should be a priority for schools
ERIC’s petition can be signed here: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/bogstandard
Jenny Perez, ERIC Director said; “Schools should meet the needs of their pupils in this area. Smelly, dirty toilets and a lack of privacy are unacceptable. Adults don’t have to put up with these problems – so why should children?
“There is a strong link between poor toilet facilities and continence problems like wetting and soiling. These affect 1 in 12 children and young people, causing loss of self-esteem and bullying. For most, a cure can be found, but all treatments require access to proper water and toilet facilities.
“Poor toilets attract poor behavior and unpleasant school toilets, a lack of soap and toilet paper and other basics are a recipe for these young people’s continuing suffering. ERIC will be lobbying for these changes through our Bog Standard campaign. Please sign the online petition and help us ensure school toilets improve for good.”
ERIC is working with the Paediatric Continence Forum, British Toilet Association, School Councils UK and the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association to implement the campaign.
Posted by Clare kersey