What is the real impact of dilapidated and ageing school toilets on pupil wellbeing? Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, explains why its time to view the school bathroom as much more than just a purely functional space.

Causing anxiety
A YouGov poll carried out by Geberit last year (March 2021) found that an alarming number of children are experiencing anxiety about using school toilets.
We spoke to 1,000 parents across the UK who revealed that almost half (46%)  of their children have experienced some form of anxiety about using toilet facilities in school. Meanwhile a third of parents also had concerns about standards of hygiene at their child’s school.
The most common sources of anxiety among children were general standards of hygiene in the bathroom space (19%), followed by lack of privacy (16%). Parents also reported children’s concerns regarding touchpoints and surfaces in school bathrooms, such as taps, handles and flushes (14%) as well as a general anxiety about using toilets outside the home (14%).

Good design
Schools, have  much to consider when it comes to priotising building projects, but it does seem that the impact of the bathroom space on pupils may be underestimated.
Good design can do much to help change pupil’s view of the space. For example, wall-hung furniture allows pipework and cisterns to be neatly concealed behind the wall whilst also lifting the toilet from the footprint of the floor. Just as importantly, however, this option opens up the space and creates a clutter-free, more streamlined design which really help to reinforce the perception of a clean space.

Touchless innovations
Meanwhile, product innovations like touchless technology can help minimise those many touchpoints in the busy, high-footfall spaces such as taps and flushes. Twyford’s Sola Infra-red taps range, for instance, can help maximise hygiene in the school washroom by making the experience as touchless as possible.
And it’s not just innovative technology that can help put hygiene front-of-mind. Twyford’s Sola rimless ceramic toilet ranges incorporate a rimless design which crucially eliminates tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas around the pan. Likewise, Twyford’s TurboFlush technology means that the flushing system clears away residue effectively so regular maintenance and cleaning is made simpler.
Significance of the space

School toilets can have a huge role to play in how pupils view their school. It’s time we change the perception of the bathroom space. The significance of the washroom space in schools is undoubtedly felt by many pupils – and perhaps there has never been a more important time to offer pupils a space that they feel is safe, hygienic, private and comfortable.

www.twyfordbathrooms.com

Venesta use their vast experience in commercial washroom design and manufacture to help you specify hygienic, easy to maintain, safe and accessible washroom facilities for students of all ages.

Good hygiene practices depend on first-class facilities. They are amongst the most in demand, high-traffic areas of a school. School washrooms require enhanced hygiene schedules, robust cubicles and ergonomic design.
So for any education establishments now considering updating their outdated cubicles and antiquated plumbing systems with bright and breezy, easy to maintain solutions, here are a few things to consider…

Age groups
From nurseries to university students, it’s important to provide appropriate facilities for all the age ranges.
Small children can find it intimidating to enter an adult size cubicle and require low level partitions and doors for adult supervision. Semi-recessed vanity units allow younger children to get up close to the taps while solid surface wash troughs are proving to be a popular and space saving option for little ones.
Older children and young adults need to feel at ease and the toilet cubicles themselves need to be robust enough to withstand heavy usage. Metal framed cubicles such as Venesta’s Centurion offer ultimate rigidity, while the Full Height option within this range also provides complete privacy for all users.
Don’t forget, you might also have to consider out-of-school community groups that use the facilities.

Safety features
Anti-finger trap hinges, emergency release indicator bolts and magnetic catches instead of locks help keep students safe in school washrooms. Taking light and ventilation into account, open-plan design and full height cubicles with partitions, taken to the floor with only a 10mm clearance, can also help you minimise bullying and anti-social behaviour.

Aesthetics
Young children have very different stimuli than secondary school students, so you might want to consider alternative tones and colour palettes. It’s all about creating a space where students of all ages feel comfortable. And matching to school colours is now possible with the huge choice of laminate, solid surface, screen print and ColourCoat washroom finishes.

Gender
Schools have long been encouraged to provide unisex toilets. Unisex and shared washrooms help with transgender equality and with more students using the same facilities, seclusion is less likely. Placing the basins or wash troughs in the centre of unisex washrooms, perhaps having male and female cubicles on either side, ensures there are enough toilets for all genders.

Materials and maintenance
Choice of materials can make a big difference to budget, durability and ease of cleaning. Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC) is a cost effective, hard wearing solution for dry environments and the low use areas you’d typically find in early years settings. High Pressure Laminate (HPL) is more robust for older children, while Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) is totally waterproof, impact, heat and scratch-resistant and ideal for secondary school and university toilets and shower cubicles.The focus on hygiene, in all aspects of life, is set to remain. Touchless technology is nothing new, but is not becoming the norm. Research shows that within an hour of normal use, there are on average over 500,000 bacterial cells per square inch on public washroom surfaces. Now more than ever, rethinking how we can keep our students safe from infection couldn’t be more front of mind.Pre-plumbed systems, such as Venesta’s Vepps, are proving more and more popular for school washrooms, where sanitaryware such as WCs, urinals and basins are factory-fitted to panels with plumbing concealed behind. The enclosed plumbing and hinged panels, with a duct lock option, make duct spaces secure and inaccessible to students. This not only keeps staff and students safe, but also provides easy ongoing maintenance.

Expert advice, service and guarantees
The options seem endless, and regulations a minefield, but it pays to speak to a specialist. Venesta’s friendly, helpful team can share the benefit of their experience and help you avoid costly mistakes. They will help you find the optimum solution and will continue to support you right through to their after sales service and leave you with a 10-year product guarantee.
To discuss your current or future education washroom projects, please call the team on 01474 353333 or email marketing@venesta.co.uk

www.venesta.co.uk

What is the real impact of dilapidated and ageing school toilets on pupil wellbeing? Purdie Proudman, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, explains why its time to view the school bathroom as much more than just a purely functional space.

Causing anxiety
A recent YouGov poll (March 2021) carried out by Geberit found that an alarming number of children are experiencing anxiety about using school toilets.
Our poll of 1,000 parents across the UK revealed that almost half (46%) reported that their children have experienced some form of anxiety about using toilet facilities in school. Meanwhile a third of parents also had concerns about standards of hygiene at their child’s school.
The most common sources of anxiety among children were general standards of hygiene in the bathroom space (19%), followed by lack of privacy (16%). Parents also reported children’s concerns regarding touchpoints and surfaces in school bathrooms, such as taps, handles and flushes (14%) as well as a general anxiety about using toilets outside the home (14%).

School buildings
Meanwhile, our own snap survey of 100 schools found that school bathrooms were not at the top of the list of planning refurbishments for the majority of schools, with external school grounds (41%) the most popular project and only 16% of schools surveyed intending to refurbish toilets within the next 12 months. This comes after the announcement last summer of the Government’s £1bn school rebuilding programme, as well as £560 million for refurbishing existing school buildings.
Schools, naturally, have so much to consider when it comes to building projects, but it does seem that the impact of the bathroom space on pupils may be underestimated and that the humble school bathroom may be getting overlooked.

Wellbeing link
Innovations like touchless products can help minimise those many touchpoints in the busy, high-footfall spaces – taps and flushes for instance. Towards the end of 2019 we were already seeing the growth of such products, thanks to their obvious hygienic benefits.  Unsurprisingly, this is expected to continue and we predict strong growth in products like our Twyford Sola Infra-red taps range, which can help maximise hygiene in the school washroom by making the experience as touchless as possible.
It’s not just innovative technology that can help put hygiene front-of-mind. Twyford’s Sola rimless ceramic toilet ranges incorporate a rimless design which crucially eliminates tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas around the pan. Likewise, Twyford’s TurboFlush technology means that the flushing system clears away residue effectively so regular maintenance and cleaning is made simpler.

Of course, it’s not solely about product innovations. Good design, too, can do much to help change our view of the space. Wall-hung ceramic furniture, for instance, allows pipework and cisterns to be neatly concealed behind the wall, lifting the toilet from the footprint of the floor so, once again, making cleaning and maintenance easier. Just as importantly, however, this option opens up the space and creates a clutter-free, more streamlined design which really help to reinforce the perception of a clean space.
Significance of the space

School toilets can have a huge role to play in how pupils view their school. It’s time we change the perception of the bathroom space. The significance of the washroom space in schools is undoubtedly felt by many pupils – and perhaps there has never been a more important time to offer pupils a space that they feel is safe, hygienic, private and comfortable.
For more information visit

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The Pressalit Shower Change Table 3000, designed for comfort, hygiene and ease of use in an accessible bathroom environment, is now available in two new colours.

This popular Shower Change Table, which offers a stable and secure platform for showering and changing adults and children with complex needs, is now offered in Sapphire Blue and Graphite Grey.

With the choice of a height adjustable or a fixed-height version, the Shower Change Table from Pressalit, the leading Scandinavian designer of accessible bathroom solutions, is well-placed for use in private homes, Changing Places toilets, hospitals, education establishments and institutions.

As with all products in the Pressalit range, its stylish and award-winning design focusses on comfort, hygiene and ease of use. For maximum use of space, it can be folded up against the wall when not being used.

With smooth contact surfaces, eliminating any gathering points for dirt or bacteria, the Shower Change Table is easy to wipe down and clean before and after use.

The table is extremely comfortable and secure for the user, its slightly curved form enhanced with an adjustable neck support which can be moved to either end of the table.

The inbuilt design and flexibility of the table ensures optimal working conditions for the carer. The ergonomically designed safety rails have a practical lower central section, which provides better access and work environment while transferring, showering, drying, changing and dressing the user. The safety rails can be operated with one hand by the carer enabling them to maintain eye contact and physical contact with the user during the whole process.

The water collection tray has an integrated water outlet to prevent water from splashing on carers, or the floor. The flexible hose attached to the centre mounted outlet of the tray can be connected wither to an outlet in the floor or on the wall.

The height adjustable model is operated with a wired hand control, offering a height adjustment of 700mm.  The Shower Change Table 3000 has a maximum load of 200kg.

Pressalit offers a variety of mobile and wall-mounted, height-adjustable and fixed height shower and changing tables of high quality. For the full range, visit www.pressalit.com

 

Comfort, hygiene and ease of use – essentials in the accessible bathroom

The Pressalit Shower Change Table 3000, designed for comfort, hygiene and ease of use in an accessible bathroom environment, is now available in two new colours.

This popular Shower Change Table, which offers a stable and secure platform for showering and changing adults and children with complex needs, is now offered in Sapphire Blue and Graphite Grey.

With the choice of a height adjustable or a fixed-height version, the Shower Change Table from Pressalit, the leading Scandinavian designer of accessible bathroom solutions, is well-placed for use in private homes, Changing Places toilets, hospitals, education establishments and institutions.

As with all products in the Pressalit range, its stylish and award-winning design focusses on comfort, hygiene and ease of use. For maximum use of space, it can be folded up against the wall when not being used.

The inbuilt design and flexibility of the table ensures optimal working conditions for the carer. The ergonomically designed safety rails have a practical lower central section, which provides better access and work environment while transferring, showering, drying, changing and dressing the user.

www.pressalit.com

 

Best value of available school resources can be enhanced by heading to the toilet.

So claims Closomat, Britain’s leading provider of accessible hygiene.

The claim follows National Education Union research indicating the number of children with special needs has increased by more than 1/3 in less than five years, up to 320,00. Further, research shows £11m/ 1million hours each year is spent by teachers cleaning up children after they’ve used school toilets, just in primary schools.

The Government has allocated £7.4b to maintain & improve school buildings since 2015. In the past six months, it has allocated a further £400m for what it terms ‘small capital projects’ and specifically itemised toilets under that heading.

 

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Elaborates Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager, “Evidence shows that lack of suitable toilet facilities impacts on the health & wellbeing of pupils and staff. It affects pupils’ ability to learn. Suitable toilets, that children feel happy to use, can help achieve better value and use of resources. With the ever growing number of children with special needs, toilets that enable them to develop basic life skills, and be clean, are more important than ever.

“Equally, ensuring that appropriate facilities, such as hygiene rooms, are in place for dealing with the whole range of toileting issues- from helping pupils with special needs through to cleaning after accidents- has a positive impact on people and resources. The Department for Education’s own guidelines say it is better to have fewer, but better equipped toilets.”

Closomat has produced a white paper to help schools get it right.

‘Considerations & Specification of Assisted Accessible Toilet Facilities in Educational Buildings’ in one place covers the key elements of the revised Building Bulletin 104, and BS8300:2018. It enables specifiers to easily cross-reference their specifications and designs to ensure appropriate compliance on accessibility and special needs. It can be downloaded from Closomat’s website www.closomat.co.uk.

In addition, Closomat offers an innovative project management service, whereby it can survey, provide design advice, supply, install, and commission assisted accessible WCs, hygiene rooms and Changing Places, to ensure anyone using the school who has special needs, or who supports someone with needs, has an appropriate space, with appropriate equipment, to enable dignified, independent, hygienic and safe intimate hygiene.

Closomat is believed to be the only specialist provider of assisted toilet solutions that is fully CDM compliant. Its credentials, amassed over almost 60 years of meeting the toilet needs of disabled people, include accessible toilet provision at educational establishments as diverse as Rose Hill Primary School Stockport, North East Campus Dundee, Kingsweston School Bristol, a raft of Cornwall mainstream schools, to Cambridge University.

 

www.clos-o-mat.com

A warehouse in the Netherlands that has been dubbed “the world’s most sustainable building” features, amongst its energy and resource saving features, waterless urinals in all of its men’s washrooms.

The giant warehouse in the Dutch city of Tilburg, is owned by the Dutch arm of Rhenus, a multi-billion pound logistics firm with 660 buildings and 31,000 employees worldwide. It has over 13,000 panels on the roof of its new facility that provide energy to power its own production plus enough to supply around 750 households annually. This is just part of the building’s green credentials with rainwater used to flush the toilets, natural light maximised throughout, and waterless urinals installed in the men’s washrooms.

 

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Increasing demand and rising prices for water requires more efficient use of existing resources to ensure a continuity of supply with minimal effect on the environment. Urinals traditionally use water in large quantities: up to 87,000 litres per unit per year. Designers and installers of public WC facilities can contribute towards reducing the impact of this demand by installing waterless urinals which worldwide could save billions of litres of water per year, over many years. Waterless urinals do not smell or become blocked and perform just as well as – or better – than flushed urinals. As well as saving water, waterless urinals save on installation and maintenance costs since they require no cistern or flushpipe. Waterless urinals from Relcross offer a cost effective and environmentally safe alternative to flushed urinals. They use the replaceable Falcon Velocity cartridge system with designed-in features to provide safe, long lasting, low odour performance for up to 7000 uses. The cartridges have an airtight seal combined with the liquid sealant that is estimated to be 500 times more effective than conventional P-traps. The latest generation Falcon cartridge also features an integrated diverter shield to splashing while helping prevent debris from entering the cartridge, an anti-splash pour spout which uses speed and direction to streamline urine through the pipes and is manufactured with 20% less plastic than its predecessors. Falcon Velocity waterless urinal cartridges from Relcross are also compatible with Armitage urinals.

 

For more information call Relcross on 01380 729600 or

visit www.waterlesscartridges.co.uk or

email websales@relcross.co.uk

Xlerator® passes the sustainability test.

 

When longtime Longmeadow High School Principal, Lawrence Berte, reached retirement eligibility, he opted to stay on board with the school to see the new building construction through to completion.

“We sat with the architect for a year and a half to design the building, and the build itself took a year and a half,” Berte said. “The students wanted to have this new building be modern and up-to-date and we wanted a facility that implemented environmental best practices.”

One of those best practices was the installation of high-speed, energy-efficient XLERATOR® Hand Dryers. Another important factor? Cost savings.

With 1,000 students, 100 teaching faculty and a support staff of about 25, the XLERATOR has allowed the school to realize a substantial reduction in paper towel costs and eliminated a majority of restroom maintenance needs.

“With a building that has 1,200 people coming in, you not only have the use of paper towels, you also have disposal and maintenance costs. The XLERATOR was an easy option for us. And our facility managers are thankful they’re not cleaning up a paper towel mess every night,” Berte said.

The whole building process was used as an educational tool to teach the students about the importance of sustainability. “We had a lot of discussion about how we were going to make this an environmentally friendly school,” said Berte. “Those green initiatives and environmentally sound practices have been incorporated into our curriculum work as well. For example, we have a course called Community Service Learning and students took on an entire recycling project for the school.”   

The XLERATOR’s modular design and low failure rate that makes it one of the most reliable and easy to service hand dryers on the market.

The school itself has received positive response from the community. “The faculty loves the flow of the school and the way things work and the students are thrilled with it. We came from a very old building that lacked space, technology and light. All of those things come with this new building, so we’re really pleased,” Berte said. “Plus, the kids have a different attitude here. When they see the dryers or any other new products in this school, they tend to take care of it.”

Excel Dryer’s expanded, enhanced product line — featuring XLERATOR, XLERATOReco® and ThinAir® Hand Dryers — offers the most options and complete line of accessories in the industry to create the best hand drying solution for any restroom environment.

 

www.exceldryer.com