Guidelines on school toilet provision have been updated for new build and refurbishment/conversion projects.
In addition to changes to the specifications, the revised recommendations say it is better to have fewer, bigger and better rooms than an over-provision of small compromises.
Closomat, Britain’s leading provider of accessible toileting in and out of the home, delivers a complete package- design advice, supply install, and servicing/maintenance- to help commissioners and providers meet the new guidelines, with best value.
“School toilets really matter,” says Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “New research shows teenagers with continence issues are at risk of underachieving at school. Over 10% of our schoolchildren have a continence problem. One in 10 senior primary teachers report at least one of their pupils was still not toilet trained, with the result that up to 25 % of a child’s reception education could be missed because they are being taken out of class to be changed. SEND schools have even more toilet issues with which to contend.
“And what about hygiene, not just for the child, but the member of staff helping them? What about privacy? Independence? Learning personal care skills?”
The Department for Education updated its Building Bulletin, replacing 102 with 104; it lays down requirements and recommendations for toilets, and advises the importance of properly sized and specified hygiene rooms.
BS8300:2018 design for an accessible and inclusive built environment specifically itemises educational establishments as buildings covered by its ‘best practice’ remit, particularly with regard to a Changing Places assisted accessible toilet facility. The new British Standard notes replacement of a conventional WC with a wash & dry toilet, certainly in a Changing Places, enhances dignity and independence for the user.
“That last note is particularly relevant for all toilet facilities, whether or not the user has special needs,” observes Robin Tuffley. “It is logical that washing and drying cleans more effectively than wiping. It also means staff are relieved of the responsibility of having to manually clean the pupil in the event of a soiling incident. And it satisfies Islamic personal hygiene requirements- the number of Muslim schoolchildren has doubled in a decade, and now account for 1:12 pupils.”
Closomat is the biggest manufacturer of wash & dry toilets in the UK, with its equipment having the most effective wash available. Its brand-leading Palma Vita can be fitted with a raft of accessories to help children, able or with special needs, including paediatric support systems. The Lima Lifter offers the performance benefits of the Palma Vita, but is fully height-adjustable, enabling it to be lowered for small infants or raised for adolescents and adults.