If you are embarking on a project to design washroom facilities for a school, there are many important factors to consider. In school settings, you need to consider things such as durability, hygiene, and fire safety. At Bushboard Washrooms, we are here to help make things clearer when it comes to deciding on the design for your school toilets and ensuring it complies with Department for Education’s school toilet regulations. If you want to read more about the specifics of the regulations then read our guide to school toilet regulations.
Consider the numbers
When deciding how many cubicles your premises requires, the most obvious thing to consider is how many children and how many staff there are at your school or nursery. Generally, younger children require more toilets, due to needing more frequent toilet visits and more supervision. For nursery or KS1 settings, official school toilet regulations advise that one toilet and one washbasin for every ten children (under 5 years old) would be suitable. For older children, this ratio can increase, for example, one toilet and one washbasin for every 20 pupils. You should ensure that children do not have to queue or wait to use facilities. This is important from a health perspective, but it also ensures that pupils’ toilet visits do not take up too much valuable lesson time. Whilst considering numbers it is also important to consider size as all standard school toilet cubicles shall be at least 1500mm deep x 800mm wide with a 450mm turning circle inside.
When choosing cubicles for nursery, reception and KS1 children, ensure that your facilities enable levels of privacy alongside staff supervision. To comply with Department for Education regulations, our Tiny Stuff range is available in 1055mm and 1255mm door heights. Alongside safe cubicle heights, trap-proof hinges are necessary for school settings. At Bushboard, we supply anti-finger trap hinges to ensure that little ones’ fingers can’t be trapped. Our hinges can be set as self-opening for nursery, reception and KS1 or self-closing for older children for added privacy as per school toilet regulations.
In schools’ washrooms, adequate handwashing facilities need to be in the near vicinity of the toilets to ensure that students wash their hands immediately after using the toilet. Alongside this, opt for hygienic, wipe-clean surfaces to limit the spread of bacteria. Bushboard Washrooms Ezeeduct and Ready Plumbed ducting systems are supplied with no horizontal flash gaps to eliminate build up of dirt and panels are smooth and easy to keep clean. When it comes to your number of toilets, plan ahead with a reasonable cleaner to cubicle ratio! All your toilets will need to be integrated into a thorough cleaning routine so planning the process now will save you hassle in the future.
When choosing the number of cubicles for your school, privacy levels are also a priority. Older children will require higher levels of privacy, such as increased door heights and suitably placed sanitary bins. At Bushboard, we include features to discourage anti-social behaviour such as our HiZone cubicle which can be specified Department for Education compliant with 5mm floor clearance gaps.
When choosing your school toilet design it is important to also factor in safety for your students. Duct panels will need an access point for any maintenance works. To avoid students gaining access our panels can be supplied hinged and lockable with a master key. Emergency access to cubicles with a key release function on the lock will mean staff can have the option if needed in an emergency situation.
Inclusivity and accessibility for all students should be addressed and considered. Doors and pilasters should be in contrasting colours for those with visual impairments. Our 34 standard laminate colours are all labelled with Light Reflective Values so selection of contrasts can be made easier, these should ideally be a difference of 30 points. In addition, cubicle occupied indicators should be suitable for those with colour blindness meaning it is best to avoid red and green. Bushboard Washrooms supply locks with red and white indicators which can be operated with a closed fist for those with impaired manual dexterity.
Don’t forget the staff!
Don’t forget staff need toilets too, so factor these into your considerations for the numbers of cubicles required. Staff toilets need to be separate from children’s and remember that your staff toilets will likely double up as public toilets for visitors too. This is all the more reason to invest in highly presentable, clean and professional washrooms to reflect the ethos of your school.
We have created a guide for the Department for Education school toilet regulations and how to comply. These points mentioned above are all relevant in creating safe, accessible school toilets for children.
The key to deciding on your toilet cubicles is to consider your space, the number of students, and specific hygienic requirements. For help designing toilets to suit your premises, get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help or use our free design tool to help to envision the perfect washroom for your school.