A secondary school has been blasted after installing gender neutral toilets – leaving girls refusing to drink throughout the day because they are too scared to use them.
Parents at Walsall Academy, near Wolverhampton, say they have been left fearful for the new system that will leave 11-year-olds sharing lavatories with 18-year-olds of the opposite gender.
There have even been reports of pupils recording each other in the toilets as teenage girls are forced to wait until they are back home before relieving themselves.
Eddie Hughes, Conservative MP for Walsall North, wrote to the school after being contacted by parents and pupils.
He said: ‘The main concern amongst pupils and parents is the lack of privacy.
Parents at Walsall Academy, near Wolverhampton, say they have been left fearful for the new system that will leave 11-year-old girls and 18-year-old men sharing the same lavatories
There have even been reports of pupils recording each other in the toilets as teenage girls are forced to wait until they are back home before relieving themselves
Eddie Hughes, Conservative MP for Walsall North, wrote to the school after being contacted by parents and pupils
‘Parents have been informed that pupils are recording each other in toilets, many pupils feel uncomfortable and are not using the toilets, often having to wait until they go home as teachers advise they must use the facilities available at lunch time.
‘Parents have safeguarding concerns given that the age range of pupils using this facility is between year 7 pupils (11-year-old) and Sixth Form pupils (18-year-old).
‘Due to their concerns about privacy this has created anxiety amongst the pupils and parents, especially those who have recently progressed from Primary School into Secondary School.
‘Additionally parents of young women have also raised concerns about the safe spaces available to them in school.’
Parents raged that they were not consulted about the change and only found out from their children.
They say they are particularly worried because of the biological and sanitary needs of teenage girls.
One female student even developed a UTI after she felt uncomfortable using the toilets.
It is believed that only the ground floor’s toilet block has been changed, but the school has a view to change all the others during the summer holidays.
Parents raged that they were not consulted about the change and only found out from their children
Councillor Izzy Hussain, who represents the Blakenall ward in Walsall, said that parents have been contacting him worried about the changes
Councillor Izzy Hussain, who represents the Blakenall ward in Walsall, said that parents have been contacting him worried about the changes.
He said: ‘I’ve had a few parents get in touch with me in the last couple of days. I’ve got concerns like the parents.
‘Some of the parents who have spoken to me said that there are children taking photographs in there and there are kids of all ages from 11 to 18.
‘One parent that I spoke to – their main concerns are that some of their children don’t want to go in the toilets where there is the opposite sex there.’
Reacting to the news, one lady said: ‘This is totally wrong, there are girls of that age just starting their periods, at a time like that, the last thing they need are boys coming into a private area.
‘We’re trying to create a ‘safe space’ for people then they do things like this. This ‘being inclusive’ just goes too far.’
Another, called Hazel, fumed: ‘Disgusting. Since when has it been wrong to ask for privacy?
‘If I had children in school and they put these toilets in I would take my children out immediately and home school them.
‘This country is going right down the toilet.’
And a third, called Karen, added: ‘I would be up on arms too if I was a parent. Well done for raising this issue.
‘Let’s hope common sense wins over wokeness.’
The school recieved a ‘good’ verdict in its latest Ofsted inspection in 2019, although the department raised concerns that standards were on the decline.
They said: ‘Pupils are happy and well cared for in this welcoming school. Pupils feel safe and enjoy attending school.’
Walsall Academy said that the new toilet was open plan and had been agreed by student council members, the Express and Star reported.
They said that other, traditional toilets were also nearby and parents who discussed the matter with them have been happy with their explanation.
The new toilets were refurbished over the Easter holidays after 20 years of ‘very high use.’