j4yne (j4yne) wrote in teaching_uk,

toilet trouble!

Ok so the story is that I work at in international fee paying school, and we have just moved into a gorgeous purpose built campus.  The children love the new place, but there is only one problem - the toilets!

Having come from a building where most of the classrooms had at least one toilet joined to them, the children now have to leave the classrooms to go to the toilet, which is now becoming a big deal for them!!  Particularly the boys toilets are ending up in a real disgusting state by the end of the school day.  The big problem is, there are a lot of students using the same tolet block (there are 10 toilets in one room - if you get my point) so we can't pinpoint who it is that is causing the problems.

I wondered if anyone had any suggestions of how to curb this and deal with it, either as a whole class or a whole department.  I've had ;the talk' with my children today, but there is no evidence to say it is actually my children who are doing it!!  It's driving me crazy - every staff meeting and assembly, all we ever seam to talk about is toilets!!!  

We have considered a sign out system so that we know who has been in the toilets and when and how long they have spent there, and I've used that in a previous school which worked.  We never actually had to refer to the records as just the threat of being a suspect stopped it, but many of the staff at this school aren't so keen to do that.

I just wondered if you had overcome any similar problems in your schools, or had a good system in place?

Jayne x

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The sign out system sounds worth pursuing, and I wouldn't imagine it would take long to train the students to its use. I don't know what age range you teach, and I imagine it would be harder with younger students, but in secondary schools (11-18) I've known usually the threat of "The toilets will be locked except at break times" gets someone to grass up (provided they know); although this has usually been to do with graffitti (in the school where I work) and people skiving off for a smoke (where I went to school myself).
In the school I taught in last year, we had some truly horrendously disgusting boys who would do virtually anything for a dare or a laugh - we ended up locking the toilets in our block during lesson times, which mutated into simply not allowing students out of class to use the toilet (which was easier for us because we didn't have to keep finding the key to lock & unlock the door).

Like I said though, if you're teaching tiddlers younger students, I guess it would be a bit harsh on them...
one of the schools I go in regularly on supply has had a similar problem with the boys toilets, in the juniors, so they have introduced a sign-in/sign-out system where they've locked the toilets & the boys have to go to the office to sign out the key. As far as I know it's helped, it just means the boys are out of class for even longer as they have to walk down to the office for the key, then back to the toilets, then back to the office & then back to class!