Picture school toilets and we’ll guess the image you conjure up leaves much to be desired. Dark, dingy, dirty – sound about right?
But, here at ONVO, we’re on a mission to change that. Yes, schools are a challenging environment to provide clean, well-maintained washrooms, but we love a challenge and believe all students should have access to top-grade facilities.
Why are school washrooms important?
Toilets are a fundamental part of school life and are every bit as important as the classroom. This is always true, but is especially relevant right now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pressure is on to ensure strict hygiene measures are in place, which is putting increased focus on providing clean toilet facilities. Great! But in reality, quality school washrooms should always be a priority.
Why? Because inadequate provisions can have an extremely negative impact on both students’ physical and mental well-being. Poor school washrooms can cause problems with:
Concentration and academic performance
To achieve full concentration and optimum performance levels it is essential students drink plenty of water. However, without access to decent facilities, pupils will invariably restrict the amount of fluid they consume to avoid having to use the toilet.
Constipation and wetting
Although these are relatively common issues with younger children, the problem can be exacerbated if they are keen to avoid school toilets.
Sadly washrooms – particularly those of older design – can be magnets for antisocial behaviour and bullying. Worrying about personal safety, alongside concerns over cleanliness and lack of privacy can dramatically increase stress and anxiety levels.
Damaged or rusting fixtures and fittings can harbour dirt and become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Add to this the fact that old taps may no longer work properly or be stiff and difficult to use, and the chances are, hands will be neglected in a bid to get back out into the playground.
Absence rates and class time
Schools are being advised to try and adhere to social distancing guidance – with taped off toilets and sinks to ensure space. This is no doubt putting increased demand on your washrooms, but if you also have out-of-order facilities, the result is likely to be less time in the classroom and more time spent queuing.
It’s also important to recognise that if a student is so desperate to avoid using school toilets it can lead to them skipping class, having a negative impact on both their learning and your school’s absence rates.
How can you improve things?
Even small changes can make a big difference. Taking positive steps towards offering a clean, safe and low maintenance environment, you could consider:
Opening things up
The government’s recommendation for school toilets is to create a more open-plan environment. This helps to create a safer more inclusive environment, making the area both less intimating and easier to supervise. Space-saving solutions such as circular wash fountains, are great for allowing you to maximise on the area you have available.
Why not replace old fashioned sinks with modern wash troughs? Not only does their clever design look more attractive, they are also far easier to maintain and help to avoid potentially costly problems caused by overflowing. Other smaller measures such as replacing noisy outdated hand dryers with new energy-efficient models can also be hugely beneficial – increasing the speed with which hands are dried, reducing noise levels (thanks to a clever adjustable noise feature) and minimising energy consumption.
Unattractive pipework on display? Awkward nooks and crannies are difficult to keep clean, spoil the looks of washrooms and can be a target for vandalism. By using a product such as the Latherwash 2D Curve, you can easily conceal pipes, keeping them out of harm’s way and creating a space that is easy to wipe down and maintain.
Ready to modernise your school washrooms?
In today’s world there really is no excuse for substandard school toilets and, here at ONVO, we recognise the positive impact proper facilities can have on school life – for both students and teachers.
We offer a fantastic range of high-quality products, specially designed for the school environment. Why not view the collection now or get in touch with the team to discuss your project in more detail and discover how we help? Together we can make sure your school toilets more than make the grade.