Before I make an arse of myself at school tomorrow, please can you tell me...

(62 Posts)
seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 18:56:25

......what are the rules about going to the loo for your year 7 child?

Schooldidi Mon 04-Feb-13 20:33:28

The school I am currently at discourage going during lessons but it's up to individual teachers to decide on a case by case basis if it is actually an emergency. I have been known to get pupils to stay at break to make up the time if it is happening regularly, that seems quite common at our school, but not for a one-off.

At my last school the toilets were locked during lessons because of vandalism and some 'trading' problems that were going on in the toilets when there was nobody on duty. Pupils would arrange a time to go and meet at the toilets from separate classes and cause chaos, so the rule was that nobody was allowed to go. In an absolute emergency then pupils had to go to the office and be accompanied by one of the admin staff.

It depends on the school but unless there have been serious issues with the use of the toilets during lessons then I wouldn't expect them to be locked during lesson times.

abbierhodes Mon 04-Feb-13 20:36:04

As a teacher I don't refuse a genuine need. I might delay them a little if we're doing something important, but even then if they were jiggling I'd let them go. Never in pairs though, and if they miss an important point of put themselves behind on the work I might keep them back for just a couple of minutes. Never framed as a punishment though- more as a 'favour' to them so they don't miss the learning. grin I find this puts off the malingerers!

BrittaPerry Mon 04-Feb-13 20:43:24

I wet myself a few times at school because bullies hung around the toilets at break and some teachers hmiliated me if I asked in lessons.

I also used to find the classroom environment unbearable a lot of the time - too much movement and noise - and needed to go and sit in a cubicle to calm down. I ended up carrying blades and self harming in class to keep myself from panic.

Ffs. Locking toilets.

DeWe Mon 04-Feb-13 21:09:11

I know a lot of people are saying "no unless they're really desperate". But really, how does a teacher tell that they're really desperate?

I suspect dd2 would do a fantastic "I am really desperate" if she wanted to go, without necessarily needing to at all. Whereas dd1 wouldn't want to ask unless she was absolutely bursting, and would make it sound like she would "quite like to go".

threepiecesuite Mon 04-Feb-13 21:14:42

When i was at school, it only took one little sod to have a sly ciggie in the toilets which activated the sprinkler, or set fire to a bin for a laugh, or threw soggy loo roll everywhere, and it used to cause a situation where toilets had to be locked.

Luckily, where I work, we have CCTV everywhere which is checked regularly (not actually in the toilet cubicles themselves) and our toilets are clean, light, bright, open and shared by staff. A bit like shopping centre or service centre toilets. It seems to work, virtually no bullying (in the toilets, anyway).

eatyourveg Mon 04-Feb-13 21:18:15

Reinstate the toilet nun!

Always there with her knitting and rosary to keep and eye on us and look after anyone chucking up etc. Pristine loos with no graffiti no cigarette smells and locks on all the doors unlike my other secondary school where you went to the loo at your peril

abbierhodes Mon 04-Feb-13 21:21:36

DeWe- we know the kids! If you realise that about your DDs, so do the other adults who spend a fair bit of time with them!

If your DD1 virtually never asked, that'd be a good enough reason for me to let her go without question. If your DD2 regularly danced round dramatically then she'd be told to go back to her seat!

cory Mon 04-Feb-13 21:25:00

Not normally during lesson time unless there is a medical issue.

webwiz Mon 04-Feb-13 21:37:25

Loving the idea of the toilet nun grin

orangeandlemons Mon 04-Feb-13 21:42:34

But sometimes we have to lock them during lesson time:

Like the time they went through a craze of tuning all the taps on and leaving them causing £1000's worth of damage
Like the time the boys took to peeing all over the floor
Like the time they took to crapping in the toilets but not in the actual toilet
Like being the hangout for the gangs innit
Like unscrewing the doors but leaving them suspended on a bit of the screw, so they fell off when someone tried to use them

Sometimes we have to take a stand. Otherwise they would wreck them

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 22:35:48

Shit- I don't know what to think now. I was so cross before- ds said he had asked near the end of the 3rd less one, been given permission to go, but they were locked when he got there. Told teacher, who said th was nothing he could do. He asked again halfway through 4th lesson, exactly the same happened. Apparently one of his friends- a notoriously hard nut, was crying in class because he was so desperate and he'd been given permission but the loo was locked, so the teacher took him to the staff loo.

I just think it's unacceptable. Imagine how embarrassing for a girl to be bleeding but to have to wait nearly two hours.....

Clary Mon 04-Feb-13 22:49:23

At my school I let them go if they go one at a time. Though if the class is messing about and the asker is a chief messer-abouter I am liable to say not until they have done some work.

As I understand it I can say no tho, ie permission is at my discretion. Apart from those with a medical card. Lots of schools don't allow it at all.

trinity yr DD would have a medical card at my school, you should pursue that.

noblegiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 22:50:44

Sometimes some sets of toilets would be locked in my school for a bit, no idea why, presumably issues with vandalism or smoking. Usually students could go to the next set of toilets which would be open.

Those problems have been solved by having self contained toilet cubicles which open onto the corridor, with CCTV trained on them.

Toilets can be a major source of problems in schools, and unpleasant as the situation undoubtably was for your DS, I doubt they were locked simply to cause discomfort to students.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Feb-13 22:50:53

I have a run of nearly 5 hours tomorrow when I won't be able to use the loo (I'm on break duty), so I sympathise to an extent. However, none of our students have to go anything like that long.

If the loos are locked, and there is an emergency, I would send the student with a note to reception - keepers of the keys. If they are not usually locked, I would assume that there had been some kind of incident.

Are you going to contact the school about it?

noblegiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 22:52:15

Undoubtably? Undoubtedly. Sorry.

abbierhodes Mon 04-Feb-13 23:22:35

Thefallenmadonna, that's ridiculous. And illegal, too, I think. I couldn't (and wouldn't) wait 5 hours. What do you do if you need to go?

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 07:19:20

I don't know whether to contact the school. I am just horrified by the idea of loos being locked.

trinity0097 Tue 05-Feb-13 07:25:54

We don't say no, but encourage the children to go in between lessons (when we have a 5 min slot built into the timetable for movement/loo break). Our lessons are only 35min though, so a child is rarely that desperate for the loo. If a child asks I can tell how desperate they appear to be and either let them go, ask them if they can wait the 5-10min until the end of the lesson (usually they can!) or say, can you wait until I've finished explaining.

One of the schools I was at the loos were locked to protect against bullying.

The loos are a common place, but the teachers know and have access to a key within the department for the closest loo.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 05-Feb-13 08:36:55

Dd's immediate response to the question was 'you're not allowed to', though she thinks of you obviously needed to you'd be allowed.

She doesn't know if they're locked...

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 08:40:06

I can't help thinking about the boy who actually publicly cried because he was so desperate. If you knew this particular child you would understand- the sort of 11 year old that you would not want to meet down a dark alley. Or, for that matter, a light alley........

noblegiraffe Tue 05-Feb-13 08:58:04

What would you want to happen if you did phone the school? As teachers had given permission to go in lessons, it would seem that the toilets are not routinely locked so they must have been locked for a reason. The crying boy didn't wet himself and did get taken to a toilet.
Not sure what else could happen, apart from a reminder to go at break time?

purits Tue 05-Feb-13 09:03:51

I do feel sorry for schools that have helicopter parents who are forever banging on about some outrage or another. It must be very exhaustng.

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 09:06:16

Purits- if you started your period at work, how would you feel about not being able to go and put a tampon in for an hour and a half?

purits Tue 05-Feb-13 09:08:27

Your DS has periods!? confused

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