do schools have the right?(33 Posts)
Do schools have the right to not allow your child to go to the toilet when they need to go?? Mortified and furious that my DS came home sobbing today because he asked to go to the toilet and the head teacher said no? He said he told her he was going to wee himself, she said apparently "not yet we are in the middle of assembly" my son then started crying and raised his voice at her "but I need a wee and I might wee myself" he then had his break time taken away from him as he was rude by raising his voice at her? plus my son is currently being assessed for ADHD and autism!
How old is your DS, and how long is assembly?
Pupils should not be unreasonably prevented from going to the loo. But unless there is a known toileting/medical issue, it is normal to expect them to hang on until a less inconvenient time.
not really, no. Speak to the Head to clarify what went on. It may be that they are given the opportunity to go to the toilet before assembly and they were acting on that assumption, but to deny an obviously stressed child the chance to go is unacceptable.
How old is he? Did he wet himself? Have you spoken to the class teacher?
I work in a school and no, they don't have a right to deny a child the use of the toilet when they ask. I would speak to the head teacher.
Oh that sounds harsh! How old is he?
I teach secondary and usually ask if they can wait if there's 5-10 mins left of the lesson. If they say they can't, then I always let them go. Poor kid if he actually did wet himself in assembly.
Thanks all, he is 5 years old. He didn't wee himself no he held it in, but he said it hurt his belly and when he went to the toilet when he got home he said his willy stings!! I'm so mad, his teacher told me he got in trouble in assembly because he was rude by raising his voice. Nothing else. My son told me the story and i rang the school to speak to the head but she wasn't available. So il be going in in the morning! I'm flushing him through with water but if not better by morning he will be going to doctors.
He held it in until the end of assembly. Went for a wee at school, just clarifying as it looks like he held it in all day by the way Iv written it sorry xx
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Tbh it is pretty unusual for a child to go out of assembly to go to the toilet. Most assemblies are 15 to 20 minutes max. Most children find them boring so you'd get a steady stream of children going if it was the done thing.
However, if it was a young child, particularly in distress, I would have expected the head to ask a member of staff to take them to the toilet.
Does your ds often leave things until the last minute? I only say that because my ds with asd does that. It's like a sensory thing. So you may need to explain to the staff that they need to ensure he goes before such things as assembly so there isn't a reoccurance.
In short, the school don't have a right to stop him but neither as he a right to go as and when he chooses.
his teacher told me he got in trouble in assembly because he was rude by raising his voice.
By the sounds of things, he has interrupted the whole assembly and was cheeky back when told 'not just now'. You said yourself that he raised his voice at her.
A five year old may also interpret a mild telling off from an authority figure such as the head as the worst thing in the world.
As for toilet requests, they tend not to be allowed in assembly because then the whole lot of them need to go. Children who desperately need are normally taught to catch the eye of the teacher/ TA nearest them and come out quietly.
Teachers can and do deny toilet requests. You have to use your professional judgement.
It is actually pretty rare for children to leave assemblies to go to the toilet in my experience. It can lead to a load of hands up also fancying a bit of a skive off to the toilets so it is not to be encouraged. Most teachers are pretty adept at telling when a child is desperate-they are generally wriggling/hopping, have pink cheeks and are (if they are a boy!) are usually clutching their bits!! I would never say no to a child in that situation.
By this stage of the year, I wouldn't expect a child to be shouting out in assembly to the head saying they needed the toilet-this would usually be dealt with quietly by the class teacher. Who knows though-maybe the head was taking assembly on her own.
Whoever said that teachers don't have the right to deny a child access to the toilet...,do you have a link to that, please? Are you a teacher in the UK?
It's ok no problem need. I forgot to put his age in the post, he's only 5 and struggles daily in general with suspected ADHD and autism, he needs a lot of preparation for most things, always needs to know in advance what he's doing and what he needs to do before doing a certain something. Classic example is when we are about to go out we encourage him to go for a wee and if he says no we say well just try,. Then when he tries he goes for a long wee, the school are aware of his needs for preparation and prompts. He's very sensitive and anxious too so if he needs a wee, as soon as he realises it become quite painful to him and he begins to panic about weeing himself. They are also aware of this. He is quite an honest child and told me that he said he needed a wee before going to assembly and the teacher said in a minute but then rushed all the children into the hall because they were late. I do not care if they were late the teacher should be more organised, I don't care if he needs a wee in the middle of assembly if he needs to go then he needs to go, he's a child with difficulties and couldn't cope with feeling anxious about weeing himself and being told no he couldn't go to the toilet! Not only him, any child being refused a toilet when needed! Also his health and emotional well being is more important than an assembly! He's now lost trust and comfort with her and feels she's not a nice person. He held it desperately and not his privates sting!! It's not fair and it's not on, he's just said to me he didn't feel nice shouting at her and that he was sorry he was rude and said he tried to ask politely but she kept saying no and shushing him. xx
If the truth is that the head teacher point blank refused to allow son to go to the toilet when clearly in some distress, then I think that the head teacher is at fault.
However context is everything, if your son was the 5th pupils to make such a request that somewhat alters the head's response. The other question I would want to be asking is when was son in a position to last go to the toilet. If they had just had playtime, then no sympathy for him. If he had been in a lesson for an hour and then marched into assembly, school possibly needs to think about an appropriate toilet break before the assembly.
I think it's quite harsh not let 5 year old go to the toilet when they need it.
They are just getting used to go at certain times, and it's still difficult for some children.
My ds wet himself when he just started school, because dinner lady said he can't go until he has finished his lunch, and he couldn't hold it anymore. He done it sitting on the chair... My ds just laughed with a bit of embarrassment, but if it happened to sensitive child, could have been really traumatising.
I think the HT should have let him go.
Schools don't have to let children go to the toilet whenever they ask but it's normal to allow younger children and those with know toileting issues free access.
Having said that the medical advice is that at age 4 a child will need to visit the toilet approx every 2 hours which should mean that they make it through assembly if they went before school.
He would have been coming across as really very cheeky if he kept asking and having to be shushed.
However, I am surprised that no one whisked him out.
He said he put his hand up and the head said yes to him. He asked politely and she said no you need to wait. He expressed he was desperate and she shushed him. He's never rude or unkind in any way and considering his difficulties in situations he comes home with certificates quite often for being well behaved and kind. This was his first time where he was "rude". I do not think he was intentionally rude, he was worried he was going to wee himself in front of the whole school, teachers and a bunch of parents. Xx
There celebration assembly's are an hour long, I know because I attend most of them. However today I couldn't as I had an appointment for my youngest child. He had 3 awards to collect but wasn't allowed them because he was rude. He's said he kept asking because he felt a bit of wee in his pants and was scared more was coming out yeah he does struggle with things at the last minute, very much so, he does require a lot of support and they know all this as we have had endless meetings and put things in place to support him. My friend and one of the patents who was in the assembly just backed up my sons story and said he even put his hand over his own mouth to stop himself asking whilst she was speaking and to try and stop himself crying I'm so fuming she put my son in the situation. Tomorrow morning will not be a good one for her!
Children with ASD and ADHD can often be unintentionally rude. You did say in your OP that he raised his voice at the HT. It is difficult to manage that in front of the whole school, because it then looks as though Child Z gets away with it, so why shouldn't I?
You will catch more flies with honey. Do not go into school and rage- go in and ask if there are ways to improve communication.
Good advice but I'm so mad!! All the hard work to even get him to drink at school s demolished. He wouldn't drink and would feel quite unwell and dehydrated especially in the warmer weather, he didn't want a drink do he didn't need the loo. He's just asked me not to pack him a drink tomorrow and cried when I said he needed to have a drink, he hasn't asked me to not put a drink in for months!!
I can understand all the things PP says, that the child should have gone during play time, or should be able to hold it for 15~20 minutes, but in reality, I don't think so. Just putting a hand up must have taken quite a lot of courage.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.