Thinking back to our school days, many of us can recall the often unpleasant experience of using school toilets. While this might be a distant memory for adults, it’s a daily reality for students. School toilets are not just potentially unpleasant; they can be breeding grounds for harmful germs and bacteria if not properly maintained.

The cleanliness of school facilities, particularly toilets, is crucial for the health of students and staff. Here are some top tips for making school toilets healthier, safer, and less intimidating:

Educate and Remind

Incorporate bathroom hygiene into new student inductions and regular health campaigns. Keep laminated posters in toilets reminding students to wash hands thoroughly and maintain cleanliness.

Choose Hand Dryers Over Paper Towels

Hand dryers create less mess, require less maintenance, and are more likely to be used by students.

Keep Facilities Well-Stocked

Ensure a constant supply of toilet paper, soap, sanitiser, and air fresheners. Well-stocked facilities encourage good hygiene practices.

Design for Comfort and Safety

Ensure cubicles and toilets are appropriately sized for students. Consider full-height cubicle walls for privacy, and include hooks for bags.

Balance Supervision and Privacy

Design layouts that allow some level of supervision without compromising student privacy. This helps prevent bullying and vandalism while maintaining comfort.

Prioritise Energy Efficiency

Use energy-efficient lighting and hand dryers. Consider eco-friendly toilet paper options. This can be an educational opportunity about environmental responsibility.

Regular Professional Cleaning

Employ professional cleaning services that understand the unique needs of school environments. Regular, thorough cleaning is essential for maintaining hygiene and preventing the spread of illnesses.

Address Issues Promptly

Quickly repair any damages or malfunctions. A well-maintained facility is more inviting and encourages respectful use.

Consider Student Feedback

Involve students in discussions about toilet facilities. Their input can provide valuable insights and foster a sense of ownership and respect for the facilities.

Create a Pleasant Environment

Use bright colours, good lighting, and perhaps even music to create a more welcoming atmosphere.

By implementing these strategies, schools can transform their toilets from scary spaces to safe, hygienic facilities. This not only promotes better health but also contributes to a more positive overall school experience for students. Remember, a clean and welcoming toilet facility can significantly impact student comfort, reduce absenteeism due to illness, and help younger children develop and maintain healthy bathroom habits. Investing in quality school toilet maintenance is an investment in student well-being and education.