A UNICEF accredited school is helping pupils with diverse abilities to be as Tor Bank School independent and confident as possible, by heading to the toilets.

Tor Bank School in Dundonald caters for 192 children aged between 3 and 19 with severe learning difficulties and/or physical impairments, and has UNICEF Rights Respecting School status. As part of new facilities provided under the Public Private Partnership funding, the school has had three Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry toilets installed throughout the single-storey building.

The toilets compliment the school’s eight hygiene rooms, which have a conventional WC with a shower, changing bench and hoist. Closomats look like – and can be used as – conventional WCs. They also have integrated washing and drying so the user is properly and consistently cleaned without they – or a carer – having to wipe clean with toilet tissue. The three Palma Vita toilets at Tor Bank have the manufacturer’s unique touch sensitive operating switch as an alternative operating device, and integrated fold-away arms for additional user support, whilst one has a junior soft seat. Conventionally, the toilet is operated by hand or body pressure on the flush pads on either side of the cistern; the optional soft-touch switch can be triggered by light hand, elbow or foot pressure.

“What toilet facilities each child uses depends on their individual ability,” explains principal Colm Davis. “Our philosophy is about safeguarding our pupils whilst giving them the opportunity to be independent and confident. The Closomats help achieve that, and gives them a sense of privacy and ensures they are clean if they get in a mess. Because the toilets clean the user, they help with their health too: we get fewer rashes from ineffective wiping. It also means teaching staff can spend more time on pupils’ classroom education as they won’t need to accompany them on toilet trips. To me, it is a best value solution.”

Closomat, which manufactures its toilets in the UK, has over 60 years’ experience in delivering personal hygiene solutions. The company has developed a range of equipment and support services that today meets every need, including height adjustable basins, and changing tables.

Uniquely, the products are backed up by in-house support, from assessment of requirements, design of an accessible bathroom or washroom to legislative and budgetary requirements, installation and commissioning of equipment, and lifetime maintenance. Full details of equipment are available on the company’s website, here.