Children are deterred from using school toilets in secondary schools because they are dirty and occupied by smokers and bullies, a survey has revealed. A quarter of the 300 children surveyed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said they avoided toilets if possible.
Nearly 40% of secondary school girls reported ‘holding it in' so they didn't have to go to the toilet. And 16% of secondary school boys reported ‘bad things’ happening in the toilets, making them wary of going in there. Over a third (36%) of pupils questioned said their toilets were never clean, with 42% saying soap was only available sometimes. Meanwhile, around a fifth (19%) said there was never any soap.
Mark Woodhead, chairman of the British Cleaning Council, said more action needs to be taken to protect children: "This survey has found hygiene in Britain's school toilets to be inadequate. It is easy to blame the kids for poor hygiene, but clearly the problem lies with poor and dirty facilities, particularly in secondary schools. Pupils deserve better than to be needlessly exposed to illnesses because there are not enough safe and clean toilets in our schools."