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Children needing the toilet during lessons

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

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  1. FWIW I agree that *****-nilly toilet trips are not acceptable, but I also think that if a kid needs to go, it needs to go!

    I solve the issue by saying "Fine, but I'll time you, and then you can make up the time at breaktime / lunchtime / end of the day". Genuine cases will go, and then i will keep them for a token amount of time (normally long enough for the other kids to have seen that I've kept them back, then have left the room. I'll then say to the student "I'm not supposed to let you out in lessons - please make sure you go at breaktime or lunchtime in the future"). If they aren't genuine cases, the reply is usually "OK, I'll wait then..." and that's the end of that.

  2. Not read all of the thread so apologies for any repitition!
    Period 4 today (after lunch), students came in and a young boy asked me to go to the loo. I said 'no' as he had just had lunch time. He said he 'didn't have time'. So I explained that teachers have to make the time during lunch. I've only taught the class a couple of times so although I felt a bit bad I figured that if he was desperate, he would ask again. He didn't.
    One thing that drives me up the wall is in hot weather when the students want to go and fill their water bottles up! AHH! I had a year 7 group last year who would run around stupid at lunch in the heat and then come to my lesson period 4 and it would start. "Can I fill my water bottle up?" At first I said yes as the weather was hot but it started happening everytime I had this lot period 4. So I told them that I had to remember to fill my bottle up at lunch (or quickly in between lessons) so they would have to do the same. Next lesson, a few asked but they quickly learnt.
    I think you have to use judgement. I think that once you know the kids well enough you know which kids do not genuinely need a wee. I just say "ask me in a minute if you're desperate" If they remember I let them go. If they don't ask then.....obviously not that desperate.
  3. As an NQT interesting thread and something I've had to deal with this year. Can't say I've read all the posts so might be repeating things, yes I use my judgement at times but generally on the second ask I tell the student to fill out a permission slip (in neatest handwritting) and I sign it. They are also reminded to enter the time they got back. Generally this seems to be working- the ones that really want to go, do it glady whilst the ones who are taking the micky ususally can't be bothered to get their planners out for 5 mins of 'freedom'
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Had this today with a yr11 student. We were on a bs trip and as he got on the bus he demanded to go to the toilet (he had been in school for over an hour and could have gone at any time). So I refused as we were running late. Then for the next 20 minutes he constantly demanded to go to the toilet and even got to the point of standing in the aisle doing the wee wee dance. A colleague interceededon his behalf and we asked the bus driver to pull over. The lad sprinted to the nearest bush (not sure I could sprint if I was in such desperate straihts) he spent less than 10 seconds pointing into the bush before sprinting back! Toerag!
  5. I also have a general rule of one at a time but always check medical records to ensure those who need to go dont have to wait all others consistently must wait until teaching point is complete. If some children keep asking daily say no problem but let them know will take a note of including time and inform parents just in case they have a medical condition and need to go to doctors soon weeds out the chancers.
  6. In my first school we, as staff, were repeatedly told never to let a student go to the toilet, unless they had a medical note written in their planner; virtually no students had this medical note. Very early in my career I got told off by a senior manager for not letting a student go to the loo, even though she had no medical note/reason - you just can't win.
    I am so glad now to be in a school in which the policy is the opposite: if a student asks to go to the loo, then they are allowed to go. Admittedly the cultural differences between the two schools are massive, but now there are no hassles, and students are treated like adults.
    By the way, to answer a point that has come up several times: if I want to go to the loo during a lesson, I go.
  7. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    Lucky you! We would be criticised for leaving our class.
    It is a matter of judgement and the ethos of the school. If all children were responsible and sensible, then there would be no problem about letting them go to the toilet whenever they needed it, but they aren't, so it is up to the judgement of the teacher - and nobody gets it right all the time. I have been teaching for over 30 years one way or another and although I can usually tell when someone genuinely needs to go, I must sometimes get it wrong - I'm not a mind reader, just a person trying to teach. Of course if they have a toilet pass (based on a medical condition) then it's easy!
    If I let them go whenever they asked and treated them all the same then the class would always be half empty and there would be no learning going on, and the same parents who complain that their children are not allowed to go to the toilet whenever they want would be complaining that these same children are not making progress. You can't win.
  8. Goldopals

    Goldopals New commenter

    I usually let kids go when they want within reason but try to let one out at a time. I prefer toilet breaks to be made outside of whole class teaching time and always f get the kids to ask politely (may I please...)
  9. Well, some really unnecessarily unpleasant comments on here, I am reluctant to add anything to any of the forums here if some of the posts on this thread are anything to go by.

    But since this has proved such an emotive and contentious issue, I will share my solution to the problem of students asking permission to go to the toilet during lessons. Our SLT have said students are not allowed out to the toilet, but that on occasion we need to exercise our own discretion. Students need to ge their planner signed, take it to reception and get the key to the toilet. This is due to the incidents of damage to the toilets, bullying incidents within the toilets and other issues that mean they need monitoring. For myself, if a student asks to go to the toilet, I will tell them that they will have to do a little job for me. If they agree without asking what it is, then I know they really need to go. If they ask, then they can make that choice about whether they really need to go. I usually have them collecting books in at the end of the lesson.
    The planner signing helps, when writing out their permission I can see how many times they have been out of lessons over the course of the year.
  10. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    Most of mine would contrive to have "lost" their planner
    Exactly - it's never simple - if it were, this thread wouldn't be here.
    Hmm - again, mine might well agree but then kick up a fuss afterwards if they felt like it.
    The thing is, although planner signing etc is a good idea, it takes time - while you are signing their planner and checking through it to see how many times they have been to the toilet, well - you aren't teaching are you. People will say to leave it until they are doing some independent work - but then this is supposed to be an emergency.
    I am not saying that I disagree with anything you have said, but it is difficult to make it clear to some non-teachers as well as teachers who obviously work in very different schools from my bog standard comp what a potentially big deal it can be. It is not as simple as - of course any child who (says he) needs to go to the toilet should immediately be allowed to go. Discussing it at length might make us seem petty to some people, but they would not think it was petty if they were accountable for the progress of a class of - well - professional toilet goers.
  11. hippychix29

    hippychix29 New commenter

    I'm appalled that children are expected to hold it during lessons! And that adults think this is not only acceptable but justified. Thanks to the lack of common sense in my sons school he not only ended up with a urine infection he nearly had a ruptured bowel, all in the period of a few months.
  12. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Good job you've resurrected this thread. We haven't had one of these for a few days...
    sabrinakat and bonxie like this.
  13. So you're saying that during a limited break/lunch you expect every student (around 1000) to go to the toilets even if they don't need it. You're saying that the school policy is allowed to breach my HUMAN RIGHT to go to the toilet when necessary.

    Banning students to go to the toilets in lessons is not only a breach of human rights but if they do urinate in lessons because the teacher wouldn't let them go it will be extremely embarrassing and uncomfortable.

    So to sum it all up in my school it would be 1000 students have to go to the toilet during a 20-minute break and a 55-minute lunch (I'll say that is quite generous), I'm estimating around 5 toilets in total so 200 people are in a queue for each toilet but there are toilets for each gender so if the male/female difference is bang on a half then that will make 100 people queueing up in a line just to go to the toilet now, there are on average 4 cubicles each meaning only four max can be in at a time, therefore, the largest line if everything was even will 96. Thing is that it'll not be even but odd.
  14. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Five years + ;) Not a record though, me thinks!
    realdwfrozen and Pomz like this.
  15. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    A respectable effort however...
    sabrinakat likes this.
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