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Do you let your students go to the toilet during lessons?

(75 Posts)
user1494968883 Tue 16-May-17 22:11:51

My year 7 class seem to be regularly requesting the toilet during lessons. Do you let your secondary students out to the toilet?

tissuesosoft Tue 16-May-17 22:14:55

We aren't allowed unless they have a medical card or note from home/year office. We have two lessons then break, two lessons then lunch, then one lesson and the day finishes.

TeenAndTween Tue 16-May-17 22:15:38

DD's school obviously does, as it signed in and out of the planner and DD2 has ~4 entries for this this year. I suspect not permitted straight after a break though!

user1494968883 Tue 16-May-17 22:17:31


Do you get many asking? What if they say they are desperate?

It is a good idea though I might just say no next time.

traviata Tue 16-May-17 22:30:53

I'm a parent not a teacher, but my DD asks me for a note every month so she can go to the toilet if she needs to whilst on her period. So the rule appears to be like tissuesoft says - that students can only go if they have a note or similar special reason.

tissuesosoft Tue 16-May-17 22:45:48

I used to get quite a few asking but that was mainly because some staff let them go then SLT clamped down on it. I had the same students ask over and over when they obviously weren't desperate (and known to cause issues when not in lesson). I called home just to let the parent/cater know the student was frequently asking and if there was a medical issue then they could write a note to be counter signed by Year office. Funnily enough, those students never produced a note or asked again.

tissuesosoft Tue 16-May-17 22:46:39

Our lessons are an hour long with no lesson changeover- the vast majority (barring medical reasons) can hold it- we have to!

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 16-May-17 22:49:11

My classes know that they don't ask until I have finished starting the lesson and at the end of the lesson.

Other than that they can go when they like as long as they ask and they only go one at a time (unless desperate).

But I don't get many asking and the only time SLT clamped down on it was when pupils were organising meet ups in the toilets during lessons.

whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 16-May-17 22:53:22

yes if they have a note and without a notes, sometimes as long as it's not a habit.
Generally, if a student asks, I'll ask them to wait until a more appropriate part of the lesson. If they are really desperate, they will ask again later at which I tend to let them go (toilets are really close). If they weren't desperate they wont ask again. Plus, you tend to get to know those that try to get out of lesson regularly and they get a straight no.

user1494968883 Tue 16-May-17 22:55:30

So right tissuessosoft, I did not get chance to go all day today. I am just going to say no next time. Lessons are only 50 minutes and double lessons 100 minutes. They are 11 and 12 I'm sure they can hold a wee for that long.

noblegiraffe Tue 16-May-17 23:02:30

I had this with a Y7 class last year, about 5 kids every lesson would ask to go, and one kid asking would set off a chain of kids. All apparently desperate.

In the end I told them that while they should be able to cope for an hour without the toilet that I accepted sometimes you couldn't wait and that I would let any student who couldn't wait go, but that they'd be coming back at lunchtime to make up the missed lesson time. If they were desperate, they accepted that, if they argued, they were sanctioned for piss-taking. No more toilet requests.

MaisyPops Tue 16-May-17 23:05:56

Default is no here but I'll use discretion if they're really desperate and they can make time up etc. It works for me so I'm similar to whathaveiforgottentoday

Don't get lots of requests. Tend to find that students ask more in lessons they know they'll get let out of.

Be prepared to be told you shouldn't work with kids unless you let them out whenever they ask and that you're breaking human rights by not letting them though. That's how these threads always end.

user1494968883 Tue 16-May-17 23:18:51

I had 3 boys and a girl ask today after lunch. I made them wait a bit but relented when they said they really needed to go. Next time a child asks I will just say no. After breaks especially it is not on to have so many requests.

PaleAzureofSummer Wed 17-May-17 06:48:11

Maybe you could notify them in advance that from next lesson they'll not be allowed or have make the time up at lunchtime.

ifonly4 Wed 17-May-17 07:21:16

My daughter chooses to drink quite a lot of water to keep her hydrated.

Luckily they let her out of lessons. She has 3.5 hours without a break in the morning, so that's a long time for anyone whose been drinking plenty. She's in Year 11 and has been very dedicated to staying at lunchtimes and after school to do coursework as well as take part in various things and will often miss eating and going to the toilet at lunch to do them. I guess they let them all out, but they've got to know her and that she's a dedicated pupil whose putting herself under a lot of pressure to do her best.

Misspeters Wed 17-May-17 17:30:22

As a primary teacher I am probably not the most suitable to give advice. I would just say no, as you say teachers have to wait. I teach year 3 and they are not allowed out during lessons.

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 17-May-17 17:38:02

I say yes. I make a note of who pops out. It's only resulted in an attempted exodus if there's been something happening at lunch (House song contest or similar).
I only allow one at a time. I have never had it cause a big problem. I don't let them out when I'm explaining a task but otherwise it's fine. Students also miss parts of my lesson for their music lessons. I find this refusal to let them go bizarre. It's perfectly easy to work out who is taking the mick.

Verbena37 Wed 17-May-17 18:47:37

I tried not to comment but couldn't hold back.
It's every human's right to go to the toilet and not to be punished at lunch time if they are let go during a lesson!

OP check out ERIC for lots of good information about why children should be able to just to the loo at school.

Giving them a note or card to show the teacher when they need the loo during the lesson can be humiliating and is totally unnecessary. Yes there may be kids who flaunt it but as nobody can make a child withold normal bodily functions, if I were a teacher, I'd let them go.

And saying that you have to hold it is just because teachers have always assumed they have reality, if you need the loo, you have to go. What if you had a stomach upset or was about to vomit? Would you literally sit in your chair and let it flow? No, of course you wouldn't.

Verbena37 Wed 17-May-17 18:50:50

When you say next time you'll say no, if you've had a big drink at break or lunch, it's not tricky to work out that you'll probably need a wee or poo an hour later. So if they drink and eat at the start of lunch, it's natural that they need to go straight after lunch.

Ineedagoodusername Wed 17-May-17 18:53:55

I think it's so cruel not to let children go to the toilet especially in primary school. My almost 10 year is still sometimes so desperate she has to go right now. If children mess around and keep asking to go then tell them off but don't blanket ban the whole class.

Verbena37 Wed 17-May-17 18:54:45

So right tissuessosoft, I did not get chance to go all day today
You didn't go to the loo all day??
Hmm, so let's say you need to change your towel or tampon. You don't change from roughly 8am to 6 pm?

Secondary age kids shouldn't need notes to go to the loo!
20 yrs ago we just got up and went and were told by the teachers we didn't need to even put our hand up to ask....just nipped out if we needed.

Trifleorbust Wed 17-May-17 19:00:06

I do sometimes, with students I trust, but only on the basis that when I say no, they accept that and we move on.

Joinourclub Wed 17-May-17 19:00:07

Yes I let them go. I've had to leave a lesson before to go, I understand that sometimes you just can't hold it!

noblegiraffe Wed 17-May-17 19:05:23

It's every human's right to go to the toilet and not to be punished at lunch time if they are let go during a lesson!

You do realise that students will ask to go to the toilet when they don't really need to go and just fancy a wander or to meet up with their mates or to have a smoke? As a secondary school teacher, you have to have behaviour management techniques to deal with toilet requests, because if you always say yes, some kids will take the piss.

LockedOutOfMN Wed 17-May-17 19:06:35

Yes. The toilet is right next to my classroom. They know they're not allowed to go during explanations or the first 5 or last 5 minutes of the lesson.

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