School criticised for 'disgraceful' decision to lock toilets during lessons

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Students at the Harris Academy will not be allowed to use the toilet unattended during lesson time. [Photo: Getty]

A Kent-based secondary school has fallen under fire for a controversial bathroom policy.

Harris Academy Orpington, a non-selective secondary school in Bromley, has decided to lock the toilet facilities during class time.

Under the initiative, children will have to be led to the loo by teaching staff if they wish to go during lessons.

The policy has been implemented in a bid to prevent children from skipping lessons but, it’s sparked backlash from parents.

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"To deny a child use of a toilet at the point it is needed I feel is disgraceful,” a parent with two children at the school told The Telegraph.

"Even prisoners have a toilet that can be accessed when needed. Children with additional needs or anxiety issues must be finding this extremely hard.

"I will be making a complaint and I urge other parents to do the same.”

Another parent told the newspaper the policy was “ridiculous” and dangerous for girls on periods or students with IBS.

However, Harris Acadamy has since defended the policy, saying keys will be available for children with medical needs.

"Students are allowed to go to the toilet whenever they need to, but if they need to go during lesson times they need to be accompanied by a member of staff,” a representative told News Shopper.

"This is to ensure they come back to lessons promptly and to prevent a small minority of students from using going to the toilet as an excuse to miss lessons.

“Students with a medical need are being given keys to the toilets so they can access these on their own when they need to."

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This isn’t the first time a school’s disciplinary policies have been called into question this week.

Recently, a teacher’s unusual punishment for a child with ADHD sparked a debate online about whether they crossed a line.