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Throwing away the toilet taboo


Good architects know only too well the importance of promoting post-occupancy health and wellbeing, particularly in education settings. Purdie Proudman of Geberit explains how it’s now high time that specifiers view school bathrooms as much more than just purely functional spaces


W


hat is the real impact of dilapidated and ageing school toilets on pupil wellbeing?


Geberit carried out a YouGov poll which found that an alarming number of children are experiencing anxiety about using school toilets – something that could be affecting their wellbeing and learning, according to a leading expert.


Hygiene worries have always been a natural concern when it comes to school washrooms. Little wonder, when you consider how this space is one of the most in demand and high-traffic areas of any school. In April 2020, daily survey app ‘Teacher Tapp’ asked 6,000 teachers about hygiene precautions in their school.


A staggering 37 per cent of respondents reported that they did not have soap available for pupils, nor did they have hot water – with the latter a result of outdated plumbing systems.


Fast forward 12 months, and the world is quite different. Investments have since been made across the sector, with the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) estimating that an average of £8,075 had been spent per school in implementing hygiene and safety measures in the first few weeks of the academic year last September. But what’s the view from pupils – how do they view their school washrooms? That’s what we wanted to find out when


The significance of the washroom space in schools is undoubtedly felt by many pupils


ADF JUNE 2021


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