Bathroom Breaks

Briefing paper – Allowing students to use toilets during lessons

By Jasneet Samrai and Torrin Wilkins, March 3rd 2020. Centre Think Tank ISSN 2634-4696

Rows of pants, boxer shorts, tampons, menstrual cups and period pads on a light pink background.

Text: "Bathroom Breaks Briefing paper - Allowing students to use toilets during lessons By Jasneet Samrai and Torrin Wilkins, March 3rd 2020. Centre Think Tank ISSN 2634-4696".

This paper both looks at the issue’s students face in being unable to access to bathrooms during lesson times and proposes that all curriculum’s in the UK be altered to ensure students have access to bathroom breaks during lessons. This paper concludes:

  • In the UK, teachers can stop students from using the toilet and there are multiple incidents where this power has led to students bleeding through clothes when they are on their periods or wetting themselves.
  • Neither common sense policies nor full bans on students going to the toilet have failed to work.
  • All students should be allowed to use the toilets during lessons and alongside this rule, we support a complaints system Ofsted so students can raise complaints about teachers if needed.

News coverage

The outdated rules on bathroom breaks in schools are in dire need of reform

“The shock was then finding out that this situation is not isolated, in fact, Plan UK said “Almost 70% of girls aren’t allowed to go to the toilet during lessons” and…” (read more here).