The Tork SmartOne toilet tissue system works well in schools since the dispenser is designed to give out only one sheet at a time, reducing consumption and helping to cuts costs. The dispenser is tightly sealed to protect the paper from contamination and prevent product spoilage while also improving hygiene, since each student only touches the paper they use.

The dispenser also contains no flat surfaces or crevices where drug paraphernalia may be left or stored, so that drug-taking in the washrooms is discouraged – something that could become a cause of fear and intimidation.

The ideal soap system in a school should be hygienic and easy to use while ensuring a long-lasting supply. And the soap should be gentle on the hands and cause no stinging if inadvertently transferred to the eyes.

Tork Extra Mild Foam Soap is a good option because it is safe for children, quick to lather and comes in a dispenser that has been purpose-designed to be easy to use by people with low hand strength. Each cartridge contains 2,500 shots of soap compared with around 1,000 in most liquid soap systems, which means the supply will last two and a half times as long.

C-fold hand towels are often supplied in schools – again for cost reasons - but these can lead to excessive consumption, unnecessary waste and messy units. This is particularly the case where loose towels are stacked on the units to avoid the hassle and expense of installing a dispenser: any pupil picking up a hand towel will inevitably drip water on to other towels in the pile and make them unusable.

Even when a dispenser is installed it is all too easy to take out clumps of C-fold towels at a time. The unused towels will then be discarded on washroom units or on the floor where they will become damp and soiled.

A good alternative to C-fold towels is a high-capacity system that protects the towels before use and helps to control consumption. For example, the Tork Matic Hand Towel Roll dispenser holds sufficient towels for up to 1,400 hand dries and avoids the risk of towels running out between maintenance checks. Tork PeakServe works well in particularly large, busy schools because the dispenser holds more than 2,000 hand towels which means the supply will not run out, even during the busiest of recess periods.

Other measures can be taken to make the school washroom less intimidating. Effective air fresheners will help to neutralise unpleasant washroom smells and cubicles should be fitted with user-friendly locks that are easy to operate, even by smaller hands.

Loud flush systems and noisy air dryers can be frightening for younger children – and the noise could mask other sounds emanating from the washroom such as those of a child being bullied, mocked or intimated. So every effort should be made to reduce noise levels by installing quieter systems and ideally, hand towels instead of air dyers.

At Essity we have set up a School Hygiene Essentials Initiative in a bid to improve the toilets in schools. We are working with teachers, local authorities and health professionals to tackle the issue and ensure that schoolchildren throughout the UK have access to safe, private facilities.

Providing pleasant washrooms for our children should not be rocket science – but it can be a challenge. By investing properly in hygiene provision, educational institutions will finally remove that lingering fear of the school toilets that has overshadowed our collective school experience for decades. TOMORROW’S FM | 45

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