Mum’s concern for girl’s health over loo break dispute

Zoe Boyle with daughters Felicity, left, and Zeya, unhappy with Harton Primary School.
Zoe Boyle with daughters Felicity, left, and Zeya, unhappy with Harton Primary School.

A mum says a school’s toilet break policy is denying her daughter a “basic human right.”

Harton Primary School, South Shields, notes the names of children who go to the bathroom during class time – and those who have not are given priority to use the toilet first when break- time arrives.

Zoe Boyle says her daughter Felicity Gardner is being punished for needing a wee and that the child has suffered a number of infections and she has been prescribed with antibiotics on one occasion.

The 28-year-old from East Avenue, who is also mum to Zeya, six, says pupils who are excused during class lose time from their break as they are made to stand up against a wall while their classmates go out.

Bosses at the school says they never stop youngsters from going to the toilet, but ensure those who have not been during a lesson are given priority when break-time arrives.

Zoe said: “It’s a basic human right.

Zoe Boyle with daughters Felicity, left, and Zeya, is unhappy with Harton Primary School.

Zoe Boyle with daughters Felicity, left, and Zeya, is unhappy with Harton Primary School.

“I’ve spoken to the head about what’s happened and I think it’s a disgrace.

“They are being punished for needing a wee.”

The school says a note of children who go to the bathroom during class is kept to ensure any health issues are identified.

It says that in a survey sent to 607 parents last month, only one raised concerns about pupils accessing the toilets more frequently.

They have no respect for my child and my kid’s health.

Zoe Boyle

Headteacher Karen Ratcliffe said: “No child is ever stopped from using the toilet during lessons, and water bottles are always available to children so that they can stay hydrated during the school day.

“Children are not punished for using the toilet during lessons and never would be.

“Children who have not used the facilities during lessons may be given priority to use the toilet first when break time arrives.

She added: “Teachers work positively and pro-actively to identify any patterns in toilet usage and inform parents and carers so that we can pick up on irregularities.”

Harton Primary School, East Avenue, South Shields.

Harton Primary School, East Avenue, South Shields.

Zoe Boyle with daughters Felicity, left, and Zeya, unhappy with Harton Primary School.

Zoe Boyle with daughters Felicity, left, and Zeya, unhappy with Harton Primary School.