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?

Tinuviel Wed 06-Feb-13 13:44:28

I don't usually let pupils go apart from KS4 who have double lessons (120 mins) - I'm not supposed to let them go either but I do. I expect pupils to use break/lunchtime or in need between lessons 1-2 and 4-5.

Amber, we tend to be a bit more lenient with girls as they may be on their period and I would hate to put them in a position where they 'leak'.

Our toilets are open areas off the corridor with CCTV and full-length cubicle doors, so they can't be locked. There are also loads of toilets around school, so enough time to go in breaks.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 06-Feb-13 11:58:50

As a result of this thread I asked my DCs what the toilet policies are at their schools. (They all go to different schools, one GS, one comp, one primary - all co-ed). Without exception they looked at me like this was just another example of my increasingly rapid descent into lunacy and gave almost identical replies 'you out your hand up, ask, and go. But you mustn't take the piss and you have to be quick'.

DD1 had a slight variation on that because according to her she says 'I require the use of your commode'. I do not believe her though.

None of the schools lock the toilets ever, at DD1's school the girls often congregate in the loos as there are powerful radiators in there and they are apparently starved of warmth in the winter months. DD2 was once locked in a cubicle at DD1's school (during a concert) but this was an accident and not a premeditated action by any of the staff. Since only one of them knows her. If more of them knew her I would have suspected intent.

AmberLeaf Wed 06-Feb-13 11:37:43

complexnumber beat me too it! grin

I can understand that they can't have a whole class popping to the loo in one lesson, I know it must be disruptive.

But it is a bit unfair sometimes.

My son [yr 8] says that he won't go during break/lunchtime because of bullying bigger kids.

He also says that teachers tend to be more accomodating to girls requests than to boys.

Not sure if toilets are routinely locked, but when Ive been at the school, Ive seen students coming to reception for a key so possibly?

TrinityRhino Wed 06-Feb-13 11:05:57

lol whoops didn't notice that grin

complexnumber Tue 05-Feb-13 12:10:00

"the school seems to only cater for the arseholes"

I fell about after reading that comment in a thread about toilets.

"We only cater for number 2's, anything else and you can bugger off"

cory Tue 05-Feb-13 11:56:51

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 11:02:11
"It's a bit different saying that a coach driver can't stop until the next service station and an 11 year old can't go to the loo between lessons! "

Yes, but an absolute pain when you cannot hold a lecture without constantly being interrupted by students who have never learnt that it is possible to survive for 90 minutes without either consuming comestibles or going off to the loo.

Even in secondary school, a pupil leaving the classroom to go to the loo is just as disruptive, if not more so, than a pupil coming in late. It disturbs everybody's concentration while they are leaving and entering, and you then have to explain again to the pupil whatever they missed during the loo break as they won't understand the rest of the lesson otherwise.

Obviously, in the case of genuine health problems/incontinence, or serious emergency, one has to make allowances. Just as you would make allowances for a pupil in a wheelchair, but still expect everybody else to walk between classes, or for a pupil who suddenly falls ill.

I listed a whole range of jobs, including ones like teaching and working on the tills, where the limitation on loo breaks is decided by the disruption this would cause to the job. My students would certainly not like it if I made a habit of using our seminars for visits to the toilet.

Mspontipine Tue 05-Feb-13 11:19:29

I am a bloody nightmare about toilets - as soon as I know I can't go I NEED to go - there and then or absolutely panic.

I'm a real treat in church, coach trips, buses, jobcentres sad , school assemblies, planes, theatres, shops etc etc and actively avoid many situations like ds is going on a school trip on Monday that I'd really like to go on. However, there is no guarantee there'll be a toilet on the coach so I'm not going.

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 11:02:11

It's a bit different saying that a coach driver can't stop until the next service station and an 11 year old can't go to the loo between lessons!

cory Tue 05-Feb-13 09:43:58

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? "

Plenty of jobs where you can't do that, I'm afraid.

Most shop attendance staff have very limited toilet breaks, surgeons obviously have to keep operating, paramedics have to keep going, coach drivers have to keep driving, people who work on road maintenance or small building sites may be a very long way from the loo, I used to be an archaeologist- often no loos on site, teachers often have to keep going; even as a university teacher, I can't break off my lecture halfway to go to the loo. You learn to use every opportunity.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 05-Feb-13 09:38:09

I do think toilets in secondaries can be an issue. On the one hand, in most cases, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a child older than 11 not to need a wee for an hour, it isn't always possible for them to make sure they go at break, where you have a whole schoolful trying to do the same in a short space of time and often in not enough loos.

At ours, also, there is only a sanitary bin in one cubicle of the toilets for years 7 to 9. So obviously even queueing for that toilet makes you quite noticeable, and you mightn't get it anyway. You can imagine the consequences....

Dd is on school council but naturally has felt awkward so far about raising this issue in front of peers and teachers. Am really proud that she's finally done so: just hope something comes of it!

noblegiraffe Tue 05-Feb-13 09:27:04

Are the loos unisex or do you know that the girls loos were also locked?

If there was some reason why the loos needed to be locked (vandalism to be cleared up for example) then what can you do?

Perhaps you just need to ask the school if this was a one off or whether the loos will always be locked from now on and if so, what to do in an emergency to be communicated to teachers?

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 09:12:13

No. But the loos would be just as much locked if he was a girl hmm

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

Your DS has periods!? confused

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 09:03:51

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.

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?

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........

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...

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.

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.

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.

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?

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

Undoubtably? Undoubtedly. Sorry.

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 22:50:44

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.

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