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?

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 04-Feb-13 19:00:13

I don't have a child in year 7, but I am a secondary teacher - my rule is if they ask I will let them go. I don't let them go in packs though, the next one has to wait until the first returns.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 19:01:49

And the loos aren't routinely locked apart from break and lunch?

Mynewmoniker Mon 04-Feb-13 19:03:41

Never during lesson time unless a note from parent saying they have a medical need. (females sometimes have to be an exception IYKWIM)

Some kids are worried about going at break times because the bigger kids hang around and intimidate.

If your kid is worried or ill you need to tell the school. Don't wait for the teachers to suss it out.

noblegiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 19:03:44

The school rule is that students are not allowed out to the toilet during lessons at my school. Teachers can use their individual judgement in an emergency.

meditrina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:04:27

I just asked my year 7 what the rules were for going to the loo in lessons. He said "you don't".

I asked, what if desperate: he said "well you can ask and you won't get into trouble for asking. But some teachers don't allow it"

orangeandlemons Mon 04-Feb-13 19:04:33

Our's aren't allowed to go unless absolutely desperate. They have to ask 3 times or so, and the general guidelines in my school is not to let them out of class, particularly trouble makers who will try and meet up in toilets.

They should go at break or lunchtime like we have to! Threatening to bring Pampers in sometimes helps.

BrianButterfield Mon 04-Feb-13 19:05:49

At my school we use our judgement - I think I'm pretty good at telling a genuine loo-needer from someone fancying a wander out of class. Basically if they're a generally good kid who doesn't often ask, I'll say yes provided it's not stupidly close to the end or beginning of a lesson and that we're not doing something important. I might say 'wait until I've explained this' or something. Rogues or people who ask too much may well get a no or I might wait until they ask again (amazing how often a child forgets they needed desperately to go earlier!). That's maybe 10% of cases. Someone with a medical need should have a loo pass or note.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Feb-13 19:06:39

Our policy is we don't let them go during lessons. Some students have medical cards, and I occasionally exercise a bit if discretion, but generally I reckon they can make it through an hour.

noblegiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 19:07:14

I have taught at a school where the toilets were locked in lesson times. Students could be sent to reception for a key if necessary.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Feb-13 19:09:04

We had a run of vandalism and locked the loos during lessons then. Normally they aren't locked.

cece Mon 04-Feb-13 19:13:24

DD is in Year 7. She is allowed to go if she needs to apparently but they have to take their planner with them. The teacher has to sign it to say they have permission to go to the loo in case they are stopped by one of the teacher patrols!

ScillyCow Mon 04-Feb-13 19:15:32

Our lessons are 100 mins.

Students are allowed to go if they ask but one at a time.

<<I sometimes have to pop to the loo myself>> blush

phlebas Mon 04-Feb-13 20:07:58

I just asked my dd (yr 7) - the toilets aren't locked & she says it depends on the teacher whether they let you go or not. They wouldn't be at all impressed if they asked to go in first, third or fifth period (i.e. immediately after registration/break/lunch) but would let them go in either of the others.

TrinityRhino Mon 04-Feb-13 20:13:23

dd1 has been having trouble with this
the school doesnt want to let anyone to the loo
she has ibs and has had some scary moments sad

the school seems to only cater for the arseholes

TaggieCampbellBlack Mon 04-Feb-13 20:14:10

DD1 said 'surely it's against your human rights to not be allowed to go to the loo when you need to.'

She added that they are discouraged from going in lesson time but if genuinely desperate it's ok.

noblegiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 20:18:08

A student with ibs at my school would be issued with a medical card and teachers would have to allow her to go to the toilet whenever she asked. Trinity get your doctor to write a note insisting that she be allowed access to the toilet, the school would have to acknowledge it.

We let them go generally at our school and it diesn't seem to be abused (It's a v nice school mind!).

I guess I might ask if they could wait if there were say 10 mins left of the lesson.

I also only let one go at a time.

We don't lock toilets or have vandalism issues.

orangeandlemons Mon 04-Feb-13 20:26:00

Your dd needs a toilet pass to show a member of staff.

DD can go to the loo whenever she wants (she needs to drink several litres of water a day), but it's written into her care plan, so all staff know. Some of the toilets are locked during lessons, but worst case scenario she goes to the medical room where she has a understanding with matron.

A couple of teachers have been a bit arsey about it, at least initially, but she's got a reputation for not mucking around and being a "good" student, so it's not currently a problem.

For DC without medical needs, mostly they're told to hang on till the end of the lesson, but discretion is used. There's always a loo they can use, but as above, it may be via matron, and checking up is done if it's felt necessary (DD earwigs when she's in with matron wink)

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Feb-13 20:27:32

I'm not sure one hour gaps between toilet breaks are an abuse of human rights really.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Feb-13 20:28:29

Your Dd would get a medical card at my school trinity.

threepiecesuite Mon 04-Feb-13 20:29:39

Our lessons are 100 minutes too. It's very much a case of discretion. A great number of kids are bored/just want to go for a wander. You have to quickly suss out if it's a genuine need. So,no hard and fast rule really. Toilets certainly not locked. In fact, no doors at all, just one big unisex area.

FelicityWasCold Mon 04-Feb-13 20:30:51

1 at a time, not within 10 mins of a break (either way), and only if I think they look like they genuinely need to go. (If I think they are a time waster, I say 'not right now we're doing X, generally the ones who don't need to go wont ask again- I'm sadly not scary enough that they wouldn't ask again if desperate)

IAmLouisWalsh Mon 04-Feb-13 20:31:25

Medical card if there is an issue

Otherwise, it is at teacher's discretion. So Y11 lads who ask every single lesson - no. Y9 girl who asks once in a blue moon - yes.

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

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

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

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?

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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"

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

lol whoops didn't notice that grin

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?

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.

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.

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