Parents furious after children at secondary school now share the same unisex TOILETS


Parents and campaigners spoke of their anger yesterday after it emerged teenage boys and girls at a secondary school will now share the same LOOS.

Council chiefs reckon the unisex toilets at Mouton School, in Northampton, will make kids feel safer and combat bullying and vandalism.

But angry mums and dads have hit out at the move – saying it is a gross breach of the their children’s privacy.

And yesterday campaigners even claimed the new mixed facilities – which has two boys and two girls cubicles – will actually INCREASE incidents of bullying.

Chairman of the Campaign For Real Education Chris McGovern, 62, who has 35 years of teaching experience, said: “ I am extremely sceptical about the decision to do this.

“It may actually increase bullying because it is an area that teachers will rarely go – it could drive bullying underground, behind closed doors, in a way.

“There’s no reason why it will possibly reduce any form of bullying.

“I would always support a head-teacher to make the right decision but I think he should seriously reconsider the unisex toilets.

“Toilets are, and should be, private for both sexes, mixing them could cause a disaster and children would probably want to have separate toilets.

“Pupils are under enough pressure as it is in school.

“This will affect their children personally and also there is a matter of personal hygiene.

“I do believe it will be worse for the girls – and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the students don’t want to go to the toilet while they are in school.

“It seems to be an exceptional decision, I haven’t heard many like this before.

“I have 35 years of teaching experience and have been a headteacher and it is something I certainly wouldn’t have done.

“It doesn’t seem logical at all.”

Headteacher Trevor Jones made the controversial decision to remove the separate girls and boys toilet blocks last month.

The new mixed facilities have two boys and two girls’ cubicles with a shared wash basin and hand dryer – but no mirrors.

Parents have voiced their concerns about pre-pubescent daughters being forced to share toilets with older teenage boys.

Others fear the decision could lure amorous teenage couples to the privacy of the toilets.

Mum of-two Jayne Poole, 39, added: “If the kids are dating – there will be no more ’round the back of the bike sheds’ – it will be the toilets they escape to.

“At a time of raging hormones and teenage angst – they need their own personal and separate space.

“I think this is a very bad idea.”

Another parent, who did not want to be named, added: “It isn’t right – I have a daughter who goes to the school and she deserves privacy when she goes to the bathroom.

“Teenage girls go through changes, everyone knows that, it can be a delicate and embarrassing moment in their lives.

“They can find it awkward going through these changes around friends and family, so to have to go through them around boys would be horrible.

“Girls, especially teenagers, care about their appearance, even more so when they are at a school with boys, so to remove the mirrors is ridiculous.

“They should be allowed to keep their appearance up, even if it is a simple thing such as making sure they look presentable.

“Even for the boys, they might want to re-arrange their tie if it has gone a bit wonky.

“It is just a gross breach of privacy.”

Defending the decision yesterday Mr Jones claimed the toilets will combat bullying – because traditional separate-sex toilet areas can be “intimidating.”

He said: “We want to provide excellent facilities for our students and this design is intended to reduce both bullying and vandalism, as traditional toilet areas can be intimidating and unpleasant areas for students to go into.

“The new area is being used regularly and safely, and the only adverse comment that has come from the students is regarding the absence of mirrors; a deliberate decision to avoid toilet areas becoming areas for social gathering.”

Moulton School and Science College caters for 1336 pupils from 11-16 and has 221 Six Form students aged between 16-18.

The school – which was given a ‘Good’ Ofsted report in July – was granted specialist Science College status in 2002, and this was re-designated in 2007.


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