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new rules re: lunchtime and toilets!

(53 Posts)
fostermumtomany Wed 05-Sep-12 17:59:58

My son and daughter returned to school today after the summer hols.
upon arrival they were handed a list of new school rules. two of these rules are:
lunchtime: 20 minutes to eat, then outside for 10 minutes exercise.
no re-entry to the building under any circumstances. They are literally locked inside for the 20 minutes eating time then once outside they have a small area to play for 10 minutes.
they have been told that if they want to go the toilet, they have to go on the way to classes, if they are then late for class, they will be given an hours detention after school.

the problem is is that if they are all waiting for the loo on the way to lessons, they are going to be late!
they are not allowed to go during lesson time, or at morning break. only after lunch on the way to lessons.

is this against some rule somewhere? surely they cannot dictate when kids can pee or not pee?!

kids have also been told that if they become unwell during the schoolday, they will not be sent home. they will be placed in a quiet classroom with a teaching assistant and will carry on with their work in a quiet environment.
im debating whetehr or not to remove my kids from this school.
i get that some kids will be messing about and ruining it for other kids, but it seems to be very very unfair to tarnish all the kids with the same brush and make them all suffer.

they are now getting a total of 10 minutes break in the morning, 20 miniutes to eat and 2 minutes to play at lunch, thats it.
is there anything that we, as parents can do about this?

admission Wed 05-Sep-12 18:13:27

This does sound somewhat draconian but i wonder whether the school is trying to take a hard line with pupils just at the start of the school year to get them in the right frame of mind.
Can't see the rules around when pupils can go to the toilet lasting long before they fall into disrepair. It is clearly not practical.

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Wed 05-Sep-12 18:20:49

Have you actually seen the list?

I know teenagers are prone to

i would contact the school in the first instance in a calm way, before moving them.

OhYouGreatGreatBritain Wed 05-Sep-12 18:24:16

what happens with upset tums, or periods? sounds very unreasonable.

fostermumtomany Wed 05-Sep-12 18:28:02

yes the list has been seen by myself. i have to tell you fb is in uproar lol!

the thing with the toilets is laughable, its as if they are damned if they do and damned if they dont.
as for having periods and weak bladders etc... the school could not care less.
i mean my son has had serious bladder issues in the past, infections that have had him in hospital for weeks at a time (from birth) so it is extremely important that he be aloowed to the toilet as and when required and they are aware of this. however when he brought it up to his head of year he was told the rules apply to everyone and there will be no exceptions. my son got a bit of an attitude then and told his head of year that "my mum wont be happy" and the teacher told him that mum can always move him to a different school if she isnt happy!
im not happy by the way!

MaureenMLove Wed 05-Sep-12 18:40:37

I think you need to make a call tomorrow, to understand why this has been done. It sounds pretty crap on the face of it.

And as for not letting DS use the facilities, with a doctors note to say he must use them whenever, is very, very, wrong.

cricketballs Wed 05-Sep-12 18:45:00

From a general point of view (as a secondary teacher) it is very common for students to not be allowed to visit the toilet as and when they feel like it; it is a good excuse for students to miss lessons, hang about with their mates and waste a lot of time. As it is secondary, they (unless medical, which I am sure if you contact school with a valid medical reason) should be able to hold themselves long enough not to have to go in lessons. Periods etc are not an excuse as I have never had to run out of a lesson I am teaching to go the loo.

The morning break issue I don't believe is true; have you got this in writing or just your dc's say so?

The illness issue sounds like they have had a problem with a lot of students saying they are 'ill' in order to go home; by saying that they will have to sit with a teaching assistant on their own will ensure that only those who are really ill will complain.

From your post, it sounds like the school have had big problems last year with toilets/lateness/illness and they are coming down hard on everyone - not a bad thing IMO

getmeoutofthismadhouse Wed 05-Sep-12 18:49:38

I don't have children of this age but this is actually unbelievable and you might not be the only unhappy parent thinking of moving the children schools and with it all the schools funding will be quite literally going down the loo too .
I have seen a few people on fb ranting about secondary schools this week , maybe they are trying to get tough but it goes a bit far when it regards children going to the toilet . Surely it goes against your human rights being stopped from going to the loo when you need to ?? This rule isn't going to end well !

EvilTwins Wed 05-Sep-12 19:05:22

I have to say that I agree with cricket. Unless there is a medical issue, there is no reason a secondary age child cannot manage their toilet breaks. If I'm teaching, I can't nip out to go to the loo. Primary is different, but if a 14 year old can't figure it out, then there's a problem.

fostermumtomany Wed 05-Sep-12 22:42:07

let me give you an example.
my friends son has cystic fibrosis. he spoke to his head of year today about the illness and going home issue. he was told that it applies to every pupil. unless they need an ambulance, they will not be leaving school. his mum rang the school and they confirmed it. now this is all well and good but....last year they sent my son home from school a total of 16 times because of minor issues. e.g. he hit his thumb in woodwork and bruised his nail. they sent him home despite him telling them he was fine.
the letter sent home does indeed state that "pupils will not be allowed entry to school during break times, if the toilet is needed, pupils must use the toilet on the way to lesson, however if the pupil is late for said lesson, then a detention will be issued for that day totalling one hour".

surely this is not allowed?

as for periods not being an daughter has endometriosis, (one of the youngest sufferers in the country) so she bleeds extremely heavily, is she to just sit with blood pouring down her legs? apparently so according to the school.

i have sat and spoken with several other parents this evening. every single one has said their child/ren will not be going back to this school again.

fostermumtomany Wed 05-Sep-12 22:50:51

its not the case of not managing their toilet breaks...its a case of them being unable to go to the toilet. they have been told they can only go to the loo on their way to lessons. now if they are all needing the loo, there will be big queues. many of them will not be able to go to the toilet without being late to class.
if they are then late, they will be punished. in the entire school there are two blocks of toilets. one in the east side and one in the west side. each side has 4 toilets in it. so thats 8 toilets for a school catering to 1000 pupils.
how are they all going to be able to use the loo on the way to lesson and not be late?

Rosebud05 Wed 05-Sep-12 22:54:13

I agree that you need to ring and speak to the school regarding your children's medical issues and needing free access to toilets. If the school aren't helpful, you need to take it to the governors, then LEA.

EvilTwins Wed 05-Sep-12 23:13:06

Legally, schools are supposed to supply 1 toilet per 20 students where the children are over the age of 5. OP, I can tell that you're concerned, but seriously, you sound hysterical and that's not helping you. I doubt very much whether a school with 1000 pupils has only 8 toilets.

As for the other thing- clearly the school can't win. Last year they sent your DS home far too often, now you're complaining that they won't send them home at all. Has is occurred to you that the school may be trying to be helpful here? Being called out of work to collect a child who is ill can be a massive issue for some working parents. Frankly, I'm amazed that the school has spare TAs to babysit sick kids anyway, with all the cuts.

WilfSell Wed 05-Sep-12 23:18:24

If a child has a disability or chronic illness though surely the school must make reasonable adjustments for them, legally? And I'm pretty sure any school would make exceptions for a child with a documented medical need. I think I'm probably with the teachers on this one...

imperialstateknickers Wed 05-Sep-12 23:28:30

At least 2 of the girls in dd's y9 class are going through hell with irregular, sometimes very heavy periods - and that's just the ones whose mothers I know well enough to have this sort of conversation with. There is no way on god's earth they could wait more than five minutes if their menstruation goes off. The mortification of blood pouring all over the floor, smeared on furniture and clothing, in a mixed class - it makes me cringe just thinking of it.

fostermumtomany Wed 05-Sep-12 23:29:43

how do i sound hysterical?

im glad you told me about the toilet ratio.
i used to attend this school as a kid and the toilets then were much less.
on our tour of the school we were told that during the summer hols (4 years ago) more toilets were being installed. this has not yet happened.
regarding sending kids point was that they have brought in the illness policy because the kids are having too much time off through illness, yet they are the ones that sent them home! last year for example, they repeatedly sent my son home yet they then sent a letter stating his attendance was poor and if it continued we would be summoned to the school to discuss it!
its very confusing.
what has really annoyed me though is that they did not inform any one of these changes prior to them being made. all they told us what that they would be changing dinner times so that each year went seperatly to ensure everyone got a meal.
they did not mention the fact that dinner times would be reduced or that the kids would only be allowed 10 minutes outside at lunchtime nor that toilet breaks were going to forbidden during break times as would access to the inside of the building.
there is now a petitionn been started by a few of the mums and one of them has scheduled an appointment with the head tomorrow.
i just it disturbing that they are treating the kids with such distrust. this school has an excellent reputation, always has had, but now it has tarnished it with a few petty rules that were, in lots of peoples opinions, not needed.

omfgkillmenow Wed 05-Sep-12 23:31:56

I get them all to pee their seats in protest, making sure had packed change of clothes and baby wipes first.

WilfSell Wed 05-Sep-12 23:36:51

I still find it VERY hard to believe periods are such a problem to manage at this age. I managed perfectly well with heavy, irregular periods and surely the teachers actually allow girls to leave if this happens. How many ACTUAL incidents of blood smeared everywhere have actually happened - I've never seen one, nor heard of one and I'm pretty old... The first rule of teenage-parenting club is first check they are not lying exaggerating, since mostly, they are...

randomfemale Wed 05-Sep-12 23:42:56

Wrt teenage girls and periods. Pads leak. Pads need to be changed. Not all teenage girls are ready/willing to use tampons (why should they hmm)

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 05-Sep-12 23:50:23

If you have your period you should be allowed to go to the loo whenever you need to.

WilfSell Wed 05-Sep-12 23:52:35

Yes. I do know this. I find it VERY hard to believe that a secondary school have full of teenage girls does not have a way of allowing them to manage this. I'm a big fan of checking the facts. And still, in all my years of menstruating and being around girls/women who do, I have never seen one smeared with blood in public...

Trioofprinces Thu 06-Sep-12 00:03:16


I attended an all girls school and I saw this on a couple of occasions. One particularly memorable one was when a girl went up on stage at assembly to collect something, the back of her dress was soaked in blood and the whole school saw. I don't think she had realised. As soon as she came off the stage the matron quickly ushered her away. The humiliation must have been awful.
The point being that it takes a while to understand/ instinctively feel when you need to change sanitary protection.

TinyDancingHoofer Thu 06-Sep-12 00:07:30

13 years old, non-uniform day, white linen skirt. very hot sticky day, didn't notice i had started. Thank god the girl behind me did, when i stood up. And i have pretty regular non-heavy periods. It happens.

If what you are saying is true OP then the school is being UR but it sounds like some wires have been crossed or someone has sent this letter as a prank because it seems a little unrealistic.

RevoltingChildren Thu 06-Sep-12 00:15:23

I saw it at school. A girl with very heavy periods had to run out of class. Luckily it was a class of all girls

I still have problems. There are two days each month when I have to use the super super orange tampons and change every 3 hours or the green super ones every two hours. Had problems recently on a train journey

This is not acceptable and I would be scheduling an appointment with the head too.

WilfSell Thu 06-Sep-12 00:19:05

OK, ok, it happens. But it doesn't happen a LOT. And I still find it hard to believe secondary schools do not accommodate this. If this school didn't, yes, a shirty letter to the head. But really? No girls with periods allowed to go to the loo during morning break, or with permission during/between lessons? I just find that really hard to believe.

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