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28th Mar 2024

Outrage after school forbids students from using toilet during class without doctor’s note


A doctor’s note is needed if a student wants to use the toilet during class time.

A school in the UK has angered parents with an “inhumane” bathroom policy that requires students to have a doctor’s note if they need to use the toilet during class.

According to Plymouth Live, students at the Marine Academy Plymouth are banned from using the toilet during lessons and are encouraged to only use the facilities before and after school, during free periods, at break time and during lunch.

If they wish to go to the bathroom during class, they must provide a doctor’s note, which would cost parents €25.

Parents of children attending the school have said that the policy is “inhumane” and has resulted in embarrassing and uncomfortable situations for some of the students, particularly for girls during their periods.

One mum, Carol Courage, told the paper that her 12-year-old daughter was given detentions for going to the toilet during class time.

She told the publication: “Even if the girls are on their monthlies or anything and need to use the toilet, even if they say they’re going to leak, they’re not allowed to go. Well no, it’s human right to go to the toilet.

“I get if they go in a crowd – that’s different – but if they are going on their own they are going to the toilet. It’s inhumane not to let them use the toilet. It’s not just me who thinks this, it’s hundreds of other parents who agree.”

Carol went to Ofsted with her complaint, but was told that is down to individual schools to set their own policies.

Another set of parents – Dawn Shepard and Trevor Joyce – have said that their child developed a urinary tract infection as a result of the rule, and that she no longer wishes to attend the school.

The principal of the school, Leigh Withers, said: “As in all in schools, the welfare and safety of our students is always our first priority. Students can use the toilet at the start of day, break time, between lesson transition, lunchtime and after school.

“If there is a medical necessity to use the toilet at other times we discuss each case with parents to ensure the best support plan is in place and this may include a toilet pass. Also we do not have unisex toilets.”