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.
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%).
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.
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.