Sunday, 12 February 2012
Toilet Training For Adults
This week almost two-thirds of England's primary school staff said they have seen an increase in children having 'accidents' during the school day. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers, which conducted the poll, said the increase in pupils without toilet training is putting extra pressure on school staff.
The figure rose to 71% among teachers working with three to five year olds. Should a three year old be fully toilet trained? Of course not because all children develop the skill at their own pace and the parents can only encourage not insist. Children so young being in a formal educational environment is a problem for me, but that's another post.
I would expect 98% of children to be toilet trained before the attend primary school (there are children who cannot be expected to attain full control) but it seems the SEN Disability Act 2011 and the Equalities Act 2010 have led schools to believe that they can't insist that children are toilet trained prior to enrolment. This is a good example of over-legislation. Do we need laws to ensure that small children who have disabilities which affect their ability to control their bladders are allowed to enter the primary education system? It's not so long ago common sense ruled in such matters and discussed between the school head and the parents resolved any problems.
But now, not only do schools have problems with young children and toilet training, Swansea University has had to put up the above sign to instruct students how to use the toilets properly.
They have blamed it on 'cultural differences' in the way that their foreign students use the toilets and say that since the posters were displayed 'the situation has greatly improved in the affected areas.'
Not everyone is thrilled with the posters however. Stephanie Preedy - a law student - said: "We all need good A-levels to get into university, yet they don't think we know how to use a toilet? It's ridiculous and quite belittling."
Such a shame Ms Preedy didn't study the humanities before she decided to undertake a law degree. Even if she had travelled to any degree she would realise few countries share the UK's toilet design. If she'd travelled to the non-tourist areas of nearby Italy, Spain or France, she would understand the cultural differences.
As to young children, who have no problems, not being toilet trained before attending school, that is an issue which schools must address. It's up to schools to insist that children are toilet trained before starting and also it's up to teachers to explain to wee ones what to do when they want to use the toilet. It was never an issue in my day and it was only later in my primary years did I discover one of our class had problems. All credit to his teachers, none of us knew for years.