Parents rage at ‘oppressive’ school toilet ban forcing kids to wait till break

A school has faced backlash after allegedly introducing an "oppressive" toilet ban that has made kids spend their lunchtime waiting for the toilet.

Parents have slammed Lightcliffe Academy in Halifax, West Yorkshire, for introducing a "loo ban" which reportedly stops students from using the toilet during the day unless they have a special pass.

They claim the militant rule has caused horrendous queues during break time which has led to pupils being forced to try and hold it in or miss a vital meal.

The ultimatum comes after the school decided to restrict access and launch a toilet timetable for lunch, breaktime and before or after school.

Parents are now calling for a U-turn on the harsh rule and have started a petition which has been signed by around 100 people.

Joanne Harney, whose teenage daughter attends the school, said: "It's totally oppressive. They're almost having to decide between going to the loo and eating."

Pupils can be granted 'toilet passes' which allow pupils to use the disabled toilet if in desperate or urgent need.

But these only allow them to use one disabled toilet in the school's reception, which becomes busy.

Nicola Hanson, who has two children at the school and started the petition, said: "I think it's wrong on so many levels. It's really awful.

"It's totally counterproductive, has a negative impact on healthy habits – including drinking lots of water which improves concentration – and increases UTIs and other bowel and bladder issues."

Nicola said girls can't always predict when they will need to use the toilet if they are on their period.

And she said explaining to a male teacher why they need a toilet pass might cause embarrassment.

She added: "It means those who do genuinely need the loo take longer time away from lesson as they have to ask permission and queue at the now very busy single disabled toilet.

"Making them walk past locked toilets to access a disabled toilet and join a longer than necessary queue is my main point of complaint."

Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "My daughter ends up going to the toilet before school at 7.30am and then doesn't go again until 3.45pm.

"At lunchtime, she has to either queue for the toilet or go to get something to eat. She can't do both."

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Head of School, Roz Wood-Ives, said: "In common with many other secondary schools, our policy is that students are encouraged to go to the toilet outside of lesson time to avoid disruption to lessons, unless they need to for medical or health reasons, or it is an emergency.

"Students who need to use toilet facilities in an emergency have access to them in the main foyer during lesson times.

"Due to the positive relationships that exists between staff and students, staff use their discretion to ensure that those who genuinely need to access toilet facilities feel comfortable in seeking permission to do so.

"We have recently invested £10,000 in improving our toilet facilities, and have had positive feedback from students on these improvements.

"However, we are aware that some students and parents are unhappy with these arrangements, and are actively working with our parent and student councils around how we can address their concerns."

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