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PARENTS are furious, claiming a school’s “loo ban” is forcing kids to choose between going to the toilet or having lunch.
Lightcliffe Academy in Halifax has banned loo breaks during the day so pupils have to skip lunch to go to the toilet, parents claim.
The school cracked down on toilet trips during lessons, but it backfired with massive queues at break times.
Pupils have to choose between eating or lining up all lunchbreak for the toilet, according to their disgruntled parents.
The rule sparked anger, riling up a flood of complaints and a petition calling for bosses to reverse their decision.
The West Yorkshire secondary restricted pupils’ access to the loos and enforced a strict toilet timetable of lunch, breaktime and before or after school.
It says students are encouraged to go to the toilet outside of class time to avoid disrupting lessons.
But fuming parents have slammed the move.
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.”
Although pupils can be granted “toilet passes” to use in an emergency, this only accesses one disabled toilet in the school’s reception, which becomes busy.
Around 100 people have signed a petition demanding the school reverse its decision.
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.”
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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