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The North East’s first free school is now open to all thanks to an innovative approach to pupils’ pastoral needs


ramlington Village Primary School in south-east Northumberland aims to focus on individual

children’s needs. As part of that ethos, a key element of the new school is the creation of a fully accessible hygiene room, enabling pupils, regardless of learning needs, to aspire to optimum independence. Supplied by the UK’s top accessible

toilet equipment supplier, Clos-o- Mat, the room features a height- adjustable changing bench, height- adjustable washbasin, hoist and Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash and dry (automatic) toilet. Looking like a conventional WC, the Palma Vita has in-built douching and drying, As a result, children who need help

toileting can do so with minimal assistance, as equipment can be set at an appropriate height for them. Equally, the Palma Vita helps develop personal skills in ensuring the infants can toilet and be hygienically clean – in line with government guidelines – and also provides a compliant solution



to dealing with ‘litle accidents’. At present, the school has a reception

and year one class, and will add a new reception intake each year to offer an innovative curriculum for children from four years of age up to 11. School principal Debbie Wylie says: “We are focusing on individual children’s needs and integrating those into an innovative curriculum. We have aspirational targets, delivered in a flexible way to suit each child. The hygiene room gives us a valuable resource in meeting those aims outside the classroom, and will help current and future pupils develop strong personal skills.” Adds Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat

Clos-o-Mat T: 0161 969 1199 E: W:

marketing manager: “Legally, schools have to provide at least one toilet for every 20 pupils, and accessible toilets for disabled pupils, staff and visitors. BB102 recommends that schools have a hygiene room to accommodate the needs of growing numbers of children with special needs in mainstream schools. It also specifically states that toilet fixtures and fitings ‘should ... help them develop personal care skills’. What could help them in that way more than a toilet that cleans and dries them afterwards, so they do not have to depend on a carer to wipe them?” Clos-o-Mat is unique in being able to

deliver in-house design advice, supply, install, commission and maintain all the equipment for a hygiene room or accessible washroom, toilet or changing room. It has over 50 years’ experience in the sector, while its Palma Vita is the only unit of its kind developed specifically for disabled people. Clos- o-Mat is now the UK’s leading supplier of hygiene rooms and their public equivalent, Changing Places toilets. iE

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