Schoolchildren shun drinks to avoid using the toilet - study

15th of May 2019
Schoolchildren shun drinks to avoid using the toilet - study

More than half a million UK pupils refrain from drinking during the day to avoid having to visit the school toilets, a study suggests.

The survey of 1,500 secondary school pupils reveals that five per cent never use the toilet at school. Just under a fifth say this is because they feel the toilets are unsafe while 17 per cent say it is because the washrooms are faulty. And 12 per cent blame a lack of toilet roll or soap.

Nearly one in four secondary school children have deliberately refrained from drinking while one in ten have skipped lunch to make it easier for them to avoid using the washroom. According to the YouGov poll, which was carried out for health and hygiene company Essity, this has left many feeling ill and unable to concentrate.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "Schools and colleges are well aware of the importance of having clean and well-maintained toilets and will be doing their very best to ensure that this is the case.

"School and colleges are, however, operating under severe financial constraints which make it more difficult to afford the costs of routine maintenance or more substantial refurbishment. More investment is needed in our education system as a matter of urgency."

Kevin Starr, UK managing director at Essity, said: "We were shocked by the sheer scale of the problem. Schools where toilets are not properly maintained risk undermining all the brilliant work going on in the classroom - and that can't be allowed to happen."


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