British Toilet Association Statement
Partnership and joining our Bathroom Breaks steering committee
Centre Think Tank has agreed a new partnership with the British Toilet Association (BTA) to work together on sanitary and toilet related issues. As a result, the BTA has also joined Centre in two campaigns, Space to Change and Bathroom Breaks. On joining as a Centre partner, the Director of the BTA, Raymond Martin, said: “On behalf of the BTA; I have gratefully accepted the Centre Think Tank invitation to join the Members Network.
The BTA was established in 1999. We are a “not for profit” Members Association and act independently as an industry watchdog. We offer free advice and guidance to all suppliers, providers and government officials on all publicly accessible toilets. BTA offers a survey and consultancy service to Local Authorities (LA’s) and major providers. Our primary drive is to lobby and campaign for a change in legislation and funding to support the work of LA’s as the primary providers of publicly accessible toilets.
We are a board member of the British Cleaning Council (BCC) a multi-disciplined organisation which supports cleaning and hygiene operatives whom we deem as essential workers in the battle against transmission of disease and dangerous pathogens. We are a member of the British Standards Institute (BSI) helping to set acceptable standards for the overall provision of toilets and washrooms. We are a founder member of the World Toilet Organisation (WTO)”.
The British Toilet Association also joined the Steering Committee of our Bathroom Breaks campaign. The campaign aims to allow students to use toilets during lessons without needing a toilet pass. Raymond said: “We have always supported the Rights of children and young persons to access a bathroom – as soon as the need becomes apparent. We helped ERIC with the original “Water is cool in Schools” allowing students to drink more fluids to assist with their learning/concentration. The immediate by-product was that they would need to visit the toilet more frequently! This debate continues.
We have had many conversations with teachers, headmasters, vice principles and senior students regarding the myriad of issues that revolve around this essential issue. Understanding that nearly every school tends to set its own agenda and rules regarding toilet breaks – so it is difficult to simply make a legal ruling or stipulation. We have also had repeated discussions with industry colleagues around this issue – monitoring – congregation – antisocial activities – passes.
Recently I have been working with a Continence behaviour consultant (Charmaine) looking at the problems faced by young children as well as those female teenagers faced with the additional worry/fear/embarrassment based around menstruation and toilet issues.
We all understand the misuse and abuse that occurs around toilet congregations and students leaving the classroom during lessons – but we have to find a solution that protects the human rights of the students – whilst also protecting schools/teachers from reduced supervision & accidents.
It would be wonderful if; as a result of active debating and discussion, we might find a new technological solution could be found to identify repeated offenders – or identify those that have the greatest need; and might even need additional help (either emotionally/physically/medically).
Primarily, it must be the health & well-being of the children & students to intensively avoid the potential onset of long-term medical conditions”.