Headteacher apologies after pupils forced to carry ‘humiliating’ sign

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A HEADTEACHER has apologised after pupils were required to carry a “humiliating” sign if they asked to use the toilet.

Officials at Ashbrook Junior School in Borrowash in Derbyshire confirmed that they are reviewing the procedures after withdrawing the laminated 
card reading: “I am going to the toilet.”

Introduced to ensure that only one Year Six boy at a time visited the toilet block following vandalism which caused flooding, the sign was criticised by one parent as a “degrading” practice harking back to the Victorian era.

In a statement which was issued by Derbyshire County Council, the school’s headteacher Mell Julian said: “We are sorry if this has caused any distress or upset.

“We have had some issues recently with the way the Year Six boys have been behaving in the toilets. Some doors were damaged and sinks and toilets have been blocked, leading to the toilet block flooding.

“To address this issue we produced a sign for boys to carry to the toilet to help us check that only one pupil was in there at a time. One of our parents expressed concern with the signs and we immediately stopped using them.”

However, one parent compared the practice to something you might see in a “Victorian workhouse”, and added: “People are furious and I’ve no idea what the head and teachers thought they were playing at. That sign needs ripping up and chucking in the bin.”

The school said the rule had been scrapped but it was still looking at “alternatives” because of problems when more than one boy was in the toilets.