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Children needing the toilet during lessons

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by cally4, Sep 20, 2007.

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  1. I was talking to my mother in law recently and for some reason the subject went on to chidlren needing the toilet at school.
    She told me when she was a girl in the 30s a girl in her class was desperate for the toilet. She kept putting her hand up and was ignored and told nastily she would have to wait - this happened many times.
    At the end of the lesson their was a puddle on the chair and under the desk. the poor child just couldnt wait anymore.

    It is sad that things dont seem to have moved on and teachers still dont trust the children
  2. PPJ


    Gemini- so who is going to look after my class when I go to the toilet during lessons because I never learned to wait? Is my surgeon going to leave a tricky operation partway through? What about my other half stuck on the M25 for several hours? Do you leave the theatre partway through a half?
    Waiting is something you learn, and the only way to learn is by doing it. Bladders actually need training to be able to hold a greater volume of liquid- waiting can help. Obviously if there is a medical problem thats diferent and most teachers can tell if a child really is going to burst, but in general I say 'No'.
  3. I don't let pupils out of my lesson to go to the toilet, especially if it is after dinner or break or if there is only a short time left till the end of the lesson. If pupils were on a coach or in an exam then they would have to wait, therefore they need to start going at an appropriate time. The pupils know I don't let them go to the toilet so I don't have that many asking me.

    Obvioulsy I will use my judgement in certain cases as you can tell when a child is desperate to go. I had one boy in one of my schools who was clearly in dire need of the loo - of course I let him go, but some kids try it on, some do it as soon as they walk through the door.
  4. I'm very sorry you feel this way about teachers. Remember one thing: teachers do not have the last word on the issue of when pupils are allowed to go to the loo.
    One. In my school morning breifing is used to shame teachers who are not following the 'rules' one of which is that pupils should not be allowed out during lessons to go to the loo. In principal I agree that this should be the case.
    Two. Some schools have real trouble keeping kids in class (reasons not relevant to this discussion) and letting one kid out or even using your discression can give others the idea that you are an easy target.
    Three. Pupils are not the enemy and it is unfortunate that the transition from primary to secondary can make some pupils feel teachers are uninterested or even hostile. However, teenagers are a different ball game from primary kids alltogether. Lively and challenging kids are part of the joy of teaching but letting into all demands makes you a great big target to the opportunist who wants to peer through the door at thier mate in the other class. This disrupts the learning of up to 60 pupils because you don't want to be seen as mean by either pupils or parents.

    I still let kids out but have made it more difficult when I realised I was in danger of getting "told off".
    Teachers far too often have our hands tied on many matters and are viewed as mismanaging a class if we use our discression.
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I work in a girls school. We have a no toilet in the lesson rule but we are allowed to exercise discretion. You get to know your classes and when kids are trying it on. When I am asked I always check the clock. I never allow kids to go on the hour or half hour as darlings that they are they frequently arrange to meet their mates from other classes at 10 or 11 .30 etc. So for the iffy kids I ask them to wait a bit till 10 past the hour. Its amazing how many don't need to go 10 minutes later!
  6. I hate the no toilet rule. I think people can hold in normal toilet urges, but there are such things as irregular and horrible periods. Male teachers especially were very nasty and had no clue that you cannot do anything about your werid period when you're a teenager.
    I always let people go to the toilet in my class (then again, it's FE!)
    I also let them take phone calls though, which I'm not sure other teachers do. But with FE, it could be a client, and I don't want my students to have troubles with their jobs.
  7. This thread is really interesting, because so many people have such different views on this subject. I'm not qualified yet, so it's interesting to see all these opinions on this.
    I totally understand that some pupils must abuse this privelage, and use it as an excuse to mess about, cause trouble, etc. I just can't imagine refusing someone the right to go and use the toilet though - not everyone's body works in the same way, and someone who might use the toilet just incase at the end of their lunch break may very well need to go again 40 minutes later - I'm certainly one of those people. Someone said earlier in the thread that someone who needs a toilet on demand should never travel on a plane, etc - I think a lot of people need the toilet on demand, isn't that the point of public toilets/toilets on planes/toilets on coaches etc? If you don't need to use it on demand, when do you use it?
    Exactly, and I had an experience much like this myself when I was at school, maybe in year ten or so, and wasn't allowed to go to the toilet. Goes to show how unpleasant and embarrassing that was that I can STILL remember that!

  8. I think that you can usually tell when it's a genuine emergency. If I'm sure they really need to go, they go; if I'm not 100% sure I tell them either to ask again in 10 minutes or that they will have to make up the missed time at lunch/break/after school. I suffer from IBS and know that sometimes, if you need to go, you need to go!
  9. I'm in Primary and our Head has told us to not allow drink or toilet breaks during lessons. Those that are allowed to go to toilet are the ones who have a medical condition or such and then they need to go with an adult, usually a teaching assistant. The children are not allowed to be walking the corridors by themselves. It goes back to last year and the Head wanting to change behaviour in the school by setting new expectations. So far, so good. In my class I usually ask any child who needs the toilet to wait 2 minutes to see if they still it with the exception of one child who I know has a medical condition. After 2 minutes have passed none of them come and ask me again. No accidents either!
  10. We have been told to say no.

    In reality I stall them, then I will say that they can go if they really need to, but that if they do they will need to make up the learning time missed at break or lunchtime.
    99 times out of 100 they don't need to go. I do say, 'Well you only need to ask if you're desperate'.
    Students have to sign in the toilet book during lesson times if they go then - For my year group, I will write home if there are lots of times the child is leaving class to go to the toilet. I also told my year group that students using the toilets during lesson time were really giving up their right to go on any trips, because most trips have more than 2 hours between stops and as there is no more than 2 hours between breaks in school, they would not be able to cope with the journey.
    Since casually mentioning this, numbers needing to go have dropped significantly.
  11. I never went to school in the UK myself and have to admit that I find all this fuss about having to go to the loo slightly weird. [​IMG] When I was at school, we were always allowed to go whenever we wanted. As we got older, we didn't even need to ask anymore. We just quietly left the classroom to go...and sat down quietly when we came back. It was never an issue. Our toilets were fine, we didn't kick things in or damage school property, and we didn't meet up with our mates. (There really are better places for doing that... Just have the guts to truant properly for an hour or two and go to a cafe for a nice, comfy chat.) Sometimes it's just good to get out and get some fresh air for a few minutes, before coming back into a lesson.
    When I did my PGCE, my first placement school wasn't allowing anyone to go to the toilet during lessons. In my second one, the kids were allowed to go and did actually make sensible choices as to when it was appropriate. There was no fuss made about that either.
    I've got Y5 at the moment and I do let them go to the toilet. They are only a few steps from the classroom anyway, so it's not as if they end up roaming the corridors. Mine do ask, but that's for safety reasons, so I know where they are in case anything happens. They are allowed to go when I have gone through the tasks and have done the introduction and they also only go one at a time. They tend to know when it is sensible to ask. So far, there hasn't really been an issue with that. They are aware that I have to be able to trust them not to abuse that privilege and not to mess about. If they did, they would lose permission to go during lessons.
    However, some of the kids in my school can't be trusted to be sensible and will use every opportunity to get out of the room and possibly hide in the toilets to avoid having to go to lessons. It's pretty daft, since ours are little and honest enough to tell on one another.
    Besides, I do actually sometimes tell them to go to the toilet before starting a lesson. Perhaps not appropriate at secondary... [​IMG]
  12. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Reading this thread, it's easy to see which posters teach in the real world ([​IMG]) and which do not. The OP is living in cloud cuckoo land. She, and those who echoed her, have absolutely no idea what it's like to work in a real secondary school. "I'd have no problem with you going to the loo"! Like hell! and that we have no respect for children and don't even like them- well that's just insulting. No, love, I hate kids... I'm only here to improve my self esteem by fending off the constant stream of comliment, and also for the money! *heavy sarcasm- yes I know it's the lowest form of wit!*
    Our toilets are locked during lesson time for the same sad reasons others are: the vandalism, the kids truanting and hiding in them, the kids who just fancy getting out to roam the corridors. We have also been explicitly asked to keep kids in the classrooms. If someone has a medical card, then fine. Occasionally I tell them "If you're more than two minutes you make up double the time at break" or something like this; but after break or lunch, they're not allowed to go.
    Sometimes people argue ("I didn't need to go then" is a common one) but I point out that I have to plan my loo breaks around my breaks from teaching, and if I need to go during a lesson, I have to just hold on- and also, if they didn't need to go ten minutes ago, then they can perfectly well hold on till the end of the lesson because they won't be desperate yet. Kids who come to me with the light of desperation in their eyes are let out, but often they come back saying "They were locked..." (Well, yes, I did say that and you knew that, did you think i was lying..?)
  13. this is a big problem in the school i work in. most of our staff allow children to go to the toilet whenever they feel like it because of constant complaints from parents; it's the path of least resistance [​IMG]
    children (like the daughter of the original poster on this thread) are experts in the art of getting their parents to believe everything and anything they tell them. if parents want to believe that even in the absence of a medical condition, their child is incapable of managing their own bladder to fit around their timetable, and wish to become "livid" at the idea of rules which attempt to ensure the smooth (and safe) running of a school, then so beit. they'll reap the benefits in the future when their child is unable to function in the real world.
  14. When I was an NQT a yr7 asked to go to the loo in my lesson and, as instructed by SLT earlier in the day, I said no. He only asked once but at the end of the lesson there was a puddle under his seat and he was all red faced and tearful. I felt terrible for him and incredibly guilty. My rule these days is to tell yr7s, as a whole class, that they can't go to the loo during lessons and then take each case by merit (and how likely they are to wee themselves - I don't want to have to clear that up again!)
  15. I am suprise by many reply's on this thread. I do think that the toliet break is up to the Teachers discretion.
    I feel that as a teacher you become very aware of 'untrustworthy' students and genuine ones. My school has a 'no toliet' rule. But if I feel the student is really needing to go (and as someone said earlier they normally ask twice!) , regardless of what period it is I will allow them to go, but will ask them to be very quick.
    I do think it is important for the students to learn control. But it can't happen overnight and Year 7 are just learning.
  16. I agree with many of the posters on this thread; it makes for really depressing reading. Thank god I left my last "outstanding" school (where kids were officially allowed to go to the loo but had to have a note and permission was granted on the whims of staff), and now work in an environment where, when someone asks to go to the loo, they go and come back without fuss. We also allow drinking and eating in lessons, within reason, and the privelege is mostly respected. It's wonderful when you don't have to be a police officer and just get on with teaching; this is within a 11-16 environment, by the way, not a primary school!
  17. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I always let the children in my Year 5 class go to the toilet whenever they want, without asking for permission, but the bathroom is right next to my classroom. If a child wants to go and I am in the middle of explaining their homework, then they automatically lose a housepoint. I trust my students to use common sense and to go to the toilet during breaktimes. If they are abusing that trust, they deserve to be punished.
  18. We have passes; but for some reason one of mine is doing the rounds with yr 9 boys..we`ve yet to find the one who has it but I will! We have had problems with vandalism in toilets. I say to a pupil who asks to wait until we are settled and working - esp if it is as soon as they come through door and say I will get pass as soon as I can. Sometimes they forget and sometimes they ask again. more often than not I ask them to wait, more for my convenience to take reg, discuss aims of lesson. I don`t say you cant go unless I have had a directive from above.
  19. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Wow, where is this little piece of heaven??? It's nowhere like any of the schools I've seen!
    Don't tell me- you homeschool your kids and the environment you're talking about is your own house..? [​IMG]
  20. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    We're not supposed to allow kids out of lessons to use the loo, unless they have a toilet card for some sort of medical problem.
    If a pupil asks me to go to the loo, I always say no at first, and then often they forget to ask again, so it means to me that they're not that desperate. If they keep asking, and they're a child I trust, then I might let them go. We have a big problem with kids truanting and smoking in the loos at our school.
    As adults, we can't go to the loo in lesson times. I'm 28 weeks pregnant now, and I will go if I have a TA in the class, or I let my colleague in the room next door know i'm going, but that's different circumstances!
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