A school toilet in need of refurbishment

5 considerations when planning school toilets refurbishments

5 considerations when planning school toilets refurbishments

With so many rules and regulations, along with child safety, health and wellbeing being top priorities in schools, naturally, there are lots of things to consider when planning new school toilets. 

Perhaps you’re a headteacher, facilities manager, business or finance manager and you’re tasked with procuring new washrooms.

Teacher considering what is required when refurbishing school toilets

You may be wondering where to start, what to ask, what to research and so on, so we took a moment to sit down with our school washroom expert, Anthony Dunham to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know.

Anthony Dunham

Questions we asked Anthony

  1. What should teachers consider when planning new school toilets?
  2. When’s the best time of year to refurbish the school toilets?
  3. How often are school toilet facilities refurbished?
  4. What does the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) look for during their school toilet inspections?
  5. Are there new trends appearing in washroom design?

Q1. What should teachers consider when planning new school toilets?

All of the considerations for refurbishing a washroom

“As you can imagine, there are lots to consider at the planning stage from safety, style, durability, hygiene, design, cost, timings and so on.

Most schools will opt for a company that can manage the process from concept to completion as it’s just much more convenient and you have fewer moving parts.

The service we provide at Focus Washrooms spans from the design, manufacture, project management, and

final installation of complete washroom solutions for schools.

This end to end service that we offer makes the staff and pupils’ lives easier when a school washroom company provides what we refer to as a turnkey service.

In simple terms, schools hand over the washrooms to our team and we agree on a guaranteed completion date where we hand them back in fantastic new condition, ready to use.

Q2. When’s the best time of year to refurbish the school toilets?

“We get asked this a lot because many schools believe that toilet refurbishment has to be done out of term time in school holidays. This actually isn’t the case and our team is working in schools and other education settings across the UK all year round installing new washroom solutions. 

Our experienced team have a wealth of experience and 

because we manufacture our own toilet cubicles, wall cladding, fixture and fittings, and so on, we can bring materials on to school premises as and when needed.

What this means is that our team doesn’t take up much space and we can work safely and discreetly even during term time. We can support you in coming up with

solutions for alternative washrooms to minimise any disruption whilst we carry out work.

Depending on the size and scope of the project, typically, Focus Washroom refurbishment projects will take between 2 – 4 weeks.

It’s worth noting that for peace of mind and school safety, all our team are DBS enhanced checked.”

When to refurbish school washrooms calendar and clock

A school toilet in need of refurbishment

Q3. How often are school toilet facilities refurbished?

“From our experience, school toilets should be refurbished every 10-15 years, although, of course, this will need to be done more often if the schools’ needs change.

Washrooms will last a good 15 years in schools if they’re taken good care of, as we use only the best quality

products that are built to last, here in the UK at our manufacturing site.

We understand that school washrooms must be robust, durable, hygienic, safe and long-lasting so everything is built with these critical factors in mind.”

Q4. What does the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) look for during their school toilet inspections?

“Ofsted inspections are very important to schools as they’re a deciding factor for parents when choosing a school and with over 32,000 schools in the UK, Ofsted has their work cut out!

Ofsted’s main concerns tend to be around the safety and well-being of children so they’ll look out for anything damaged or broken in school toilets. They’ll also want to see that school toilet areas can be supervised effectively without compromising privacy. 

The Advice on Standards for School Premises dated March 2015 is particularly helpful. This guidance sets out the various requirements

for the number of school toilets, basins, showers etc. per number of pupils and this is split into various age categories. 

It also sets out clear guidance for unisex facilities and changing and shower provisions for years 7 and upwards if there is physical education. Adequate ventilation and lighting must be installed as well and you’ll also find regulations regarding toilet facilities for staff, visitors and persons with disabilities.

It’s a good idea to read through this guidance paying special attention to pages 5 and 6 but of course, our team is here to help so feel free to just get in touch with us.

Tick all the boxes required by Ofsted

Q5. Are there new trends appearing in washroom design?

“One thing we’re seeing a lot more of is unisex toilets in schools. There are special considerations with unisex toilets, the main consideration being privacy and safety. That’s why unisex toilets must always be full height and fully enclosed for 8-year-olds and over.

Unisex toilets tend to be designed in rows of enclosed toilet cubicles and the washbasins or wash troughs will be communal in a central, well lit, open space. Of course, as the toilet cubicles must be totally

enclosed, special attention must be paid to adequate lighting and ventilation. 

Not a trend as such, but since the arrival of COVID, we’re seeing an increased focus on hygiene in school toilets. I’d say around 80% of our customers are choosing hygienic wall cladding for their surfaces and there’s an increased focus on handwashing. We’re also finding that more and more schools are opting for centralised wash troughs and automatic sensors to flush toilets and dispense water and soap. “

How can we help?

or call and arrange your free site survey.
01707 254 170

Why workplace facilities are vital to attracting and keeping talent

For businesses that are focussed on attracting and keeping talent, the look and feel of the workplace plays a vital role in employee engagement and creating positive experiences for team members.

These positive experiences should occur throughout the working day and include various aspects such as a welcoming reception area, open spaces for collaboration, break out spaces, natural sunlight and bright and clean washroom facilities.

All of these elements help to make your team feel valued and engaged, and this positivity results in greater motivation and productivity for mutual benefit to your team and your business. In this latest blog post we discuss the various ways that businesses can simply and effectively update their facilities to attract new talent and keep existing talent.


The workplace has come a long way from the dreary office cubicles of the 80’s and 90’s, and today’s modern practices include more personality and freedom for expression.

Open plan spaces have replaced work cubicles and collaboration is encouraged in forward thinking and successful businesses. Of course, workplace design is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach and along with open spaces, there should also be areas for quiet contemplation and concentration, along with break out areas where teams can build relationships and learn how to better work together.


In recent years, there is a growing trend that is taking workplace design by storm called biophilic design. This design trend quite simply incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views and other experiences of nature into workplaces which have been proven to lower stress levels, improve mood and encourage productivity and motivation.

We know that natural light is one of the most important things to health and wellbeing, and according to the World Green Building Council, employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate proving its importance to your workplace design.


Washrooms are an important area in workplaces that can be sadly neglected. Cleanliness, hygiene and easy to keep clean are the most important elements in designing and maintaining washrooms, and a lack of these will reflect badly on your business – even calling into question your brand values, the standards you set, and the quality of the service you deliver.

99% of people are reported to have said that they believe an unhygienic washroom reflects badly on a business itself, with a further 58% stating that washroom hygiene was ‘very important’ to their perceptions.

An unsatisfactory washroom may lead your team to develop feelings of negativity about the business they work for, impacting their morale, their productivity in the workplace, and, of course, the bottom line. By working with Focus Washrooms, we can ensure that your washrooms are in great shape helping to keep your team happy and motivated day in, day out.


Get in touch with us to discuss your how we can help you to improve your workplace to help you attract and keep talent in an ever-changing and competitive jobs market.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

How designing great washrooms can help to prevent bullying in schools

A report from YMCA England and Wales released earlier this year found that half of children aged 11 to 16 have been bullied in some way, with 40% targeted at least once a week. These worrying findings mean that now more than ever, schools have a responsibility to provide a safe and engaging place for children to learn and they must be committed to stamp out bullying.<

Bullying can take place anywhere in schools – from the classroom to the playground, but we know that school washrooms can be a trouble spot for bullying, with some children even avoiding them for this reason.

In our 20 years working within the education sector, we understand the challenges that schools face. Our role in schools is simple – we deliver safe washroom environments designed in a way to help prevent bullying.


Hidden areas like corners could potentially be a place for intimidation out of sight, so our designs incorporate bright and open spaces for children. Our hand washing stations are also open without any dividing walls, for example at The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in London and at The Chauncy School in Hertfordshire where we fitted a communal hand washing fountain station. These kinds of design formats enable staff to keep an eye out for antisocial behaviour and ultimately helps children to feel safer using the washrooms.


Fresh colours and engaging designs are key to creating a safe and pleasant washroom environment. Along with a wide range of colours, Focus Washrooms also offer many graphic designs that have various themes ranging from fun to educational.
At Hallsville Junior School we incorporated a colourful and sporty theme on the cubicle doors, whilst at Duncombe Primary School in London, and at the Children’s Centre in Gainsborough, we used fun underwater designs with fish, frogs and cartoon figures which children would find engaging.


For older children, another important factor to consider when designing to help prevent bullying is privacy, and helping children feel that they can use facilities without risk of intimidation. In this case, there may be a requirement to have floor to ceiling cubicles like we fitted at Queenswood Boarding School in Hertfordshire which offer the privacy older children require.


Finally, hygiene and cleanliness must be a priority for schools when refurbishing washrooms. A recent report from YouGov found that around 44 per cent of children avoid using the toilet at school each week due to poor hygiene so it’s important that this issue is addressed by schools. Focus Washroom’s products are of easy to keep clean, excellent quality, highly robust, offer value for money and they’re designed specifically for the education sector.

Having specialised in school washroom refurbishments for over two decades, our vast experience and expertise have led us to successfully refurbish over 200 washrooms in the last year alone. Our deep understanding of the unique demands of school washroom refurbishments makes us the go-to partner to manage your next project.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Washrooms in Sports & Entertainment Venues: Everything you need to know

Sports and entertainment venues offer unique challenges when it comes to washroom design.

The nature of these venues means that washrooms will see a large influx of users in short periods of time, like intervals at theatres and concerts, and half-time breaks at sporting events. This means that more than ever, washrooms need to be robust, hard wearing and hygienic.

The importance of washroom design

The UEFA ‘Guide to Quality Stadiums‘ states that “one of the most important public facilities in a stadium are the toilets.” Long queues and dirty washrooms can ruin visitors’ venue experiences and stop them from returning to your venue meaning a loss of potential revenue.

With some simple solutions and following the recommended guidelines, you can ensure that your visitors’ washroom experiences are as bright and sparkling as your live events.

High traffic washroom environments

Advice from UEFA ‘Guide to Quality Stadiums’ recommends that the minimum provision is as follows:

For males, 2 WCs per 250 males; and 1 for every additional 250 males or part thereof. For females, the recommendation states 2 WCs for up to 20 females; plus 1 for every additional 20 females or part thereof up to 500 females.

For urinals, it’s 2 for up to 50 males; plus 1 for every additional 50 males or part thereof. And finally for washbasins in male washrooms, it’s 1 washbasin per WC and in addition, 1 per 5 urinals or part thereof. For females. it’s 1, plus 1 per 2 WCs or part thereof.

Make a positive statement

Exceptional quality and high levels of cleanliness and hygiene are vital for your washroom areas as they make a statement about the other facilities in your venue. The design, layout and finish will impact on the overall experience and impression to your visitors so its essential you strike the balance between hygiene and design.

The Focus Washroom experience

Take a look at our project with Glyndebourne Opera House where we successfully managed this stunning refurbishment for theatregoers with durable and stylish solutions.

Our team at Focus Washrooms pride ourselves on exceptional service from design and specification through to supply and installation. Our high-quality products are robust and durable – perfect for high traffic areas.

Please get in touch with us to discuss your next project.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Your Facilities Reflect your Brand Values!

Good facilities can affect staff engagement, brand performance and customer’s satisfaction.

Cleanliness and hygiene are human practices that throughout history have undergone different adaptations in their social and cultural contexts. Archaeological investigations indicate the existence of plumbing systems in ancient times. The baths and various other personal hygiene methods were quite common in Egyptian and Chinese societies.

The Greeks and Romans were the forerunners of hydraulic systems, channelling rainwater and river water, leading them to homes and to spa. And in the public baths happened meetings, conversations and agreements that drove both politics, arts and sciences.

In public areas, progress has been great through increased investment in technology and design. Today we have amazing washrooms in malls, restaurants, bars and leisure centres. Architects and designers have proven increasingly creative and resourceful to idealise these areas. In business offices, however, concern for the comfort and well-being in these areas is still modest. Business owners and managers still consider that this place should be restricted to ‘in and out’ place, where the employees should not stay for a long time.

Washrooms and coffee areas, considered great villains of productivity are now seen as partners of sociability and communication. Areas of relaxation, including places for reading, games, chat and even sports, are increasingly requested by the HR. So why not use the toilet as a nice and rewarding experience for your staff and customers?

No matter your company style, your facilities must reflect your brand narrative. It is an opportunity for a great experience between your customers and your brand.

There are many ways to make your washrooms so fantastic that staff and customers will appreciate your brand even more. You can use photographic, colourful and informative wall cladding and panels to replace tiles and resort to a warm and beautiful lighting, that at the same time can be economical.

Next to the care of architects and designers, there are a wide range of inventive and modern solutions to be explored that can improve hygiene. Hygienic finishes, creative wall cladding and automatic doors have been used for a long time, and the initial investment returns as a health benefit.

Fortunately, many companies have been pioneers in the exploration of the washroom space, making these areas an alternative space to implement actions aimed at stimulating expression of ideas and opinions.The guiding principle of this approach is that people are more spontaneous in these environments. And it is already possible to see in research on organisational climate, which changes were noted in the companies that paid attention to the opinions collected in their bathrooms. Some, more daring, are riding the wave to get honest reviews of the managers and executives.

Our relentless pursuit of quality of life and humanisation of corporate spaces becomes part of the company’s brand strategy. The Age of Taylorism brought us a lot of learning, but it is time to be aware that sobriety and rigidity are not necessarily great productivity motivating. In addition, there are the ergonomic aspects, favouring communication and aesthetics as great motivators of buyers, not to mention still feelings of recognition and commitment to fidelity, promoted by the nice and cosy shopping environment.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Holiday blues

You want your washrooms refurbished during the holidays, right?

As we head ever closer to the school holidays, you may be feeling you’ve missed the boat on getting your washroom refurbished during your down time. It is undeniably easier to refurbish your school washrooms while the kids are on holiday, but it is possible and even advantageous to consider refurbishment during term-time.

I need it now!

If your washrooms become victim to vandalism or suffer a mechanical or structural failure, it may not be desirable, prudent or practical to wait until a holiday for the refurbishment to commence. At Focus Washrooms, we have many years experience of conducting this process during term-time. All of our operatives are DBS checked and we keep site teams to the minimum number required to get the job done on time, and to the highest standards.


This applies to both your staff and ours. Do you have someone available to be on site or on call during the required holiday period? Equally, holidays are our busy time so you may have more choice on installation dates outside this period.


As we offer a total washroom refurbishment with guaranteed completion times, you can rest assured that you will have a Project Manager in charge of the whole job from start to finish and a single team on site. We know that our job can be noisy, messy and distracting to the children. We aim to keep disruption to the absolute minimum and will work with you to plan the schedule of works around your school day. Particularly intrusive works can be completed at a time that works for you, such as after the children have left for the day. Mess will be kept to a minimum with as little interference with your cleaning routines as possible.

Questions and concerns?

If you feel a term-time refurbishment would benefit you but you have some questions or concerns, please give our team a call and they will be happy to discuss this with you.

Focus Washrooms have been refurbishing school washrooms for over 20 years. Please view our testimonials page to hear what our customers have to say.

For more information, or to arrange your free site visit,
please call our sales team on 01362 699 944.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

How to specify a washroom refurbishment

Do you need to specify a washroom refurbishment but don’t know where to begin? It’s not hard if you know where to start. Let us help.

There are many variables within a standard washroom refurbishment and most of them are influenced by several factors, such as:

Sector We cater for all sectors but knowing which one you’re in helps us immensely. Education, Business, Healthcare, Retail, Sports & Leisure and Public Toilets.
Budget The sky is the limit! We tend to avoid the lowest price items as we believe that quality will tell but you tell us what you want to spend, and we’ll provide the best options for your budget.
Aesthetic Colour and finish selection can make or break your new washroom, that’s why we offer predesigned colour schemes to make this process easier. Of course, you if you have a clear idea of what you want you can select the individual colours yourself.
Timescale School holidays, quiet periods, annual shutdowns… Our unique control of the laminate manufacturing process means we can guarantee your project completion date!

Within the typical washroom refurbishment the following areas will usually be addressed:

Furniture – Cubicles, duct panelling and vanity units

Sanitaryware – WC’s, basins, urinals, taps etc

Surfaces – Floors, walls and ceilings

Colours and finishes

We can then break this down into easier to digest chunks:

Cubicles, duct panelling and vanity units are available in various finishes, but we manufacture all our products from Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) as we believe that this is the best product for the job. SGL is a robust product, water resistant and suitable for high use areas, which enables us to offer a full 15-year product warranty. We do not use High Pressure Laminate (HPL) and Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC) as these materials have a timber core and therefore do not have the longevity of SGL.

Sanitaryware choices can seem overwhelming, do you want back to wall, wall hung or close coupled WC pans? Concealed or exposed trap urinals? Inset, semi-recessed or wall hung basins? Wash troughs? With a free site visit, we can talk you through all the options and come up with the best plan for your washroom. And then there is the brassware to consider. Different budgets will often determine what taps and flush systems are selected and we can advise on all the available options.

Walls offer a vast array of options, from ceramic or porcelain tile finishes, wipeable eggshell paint to the more modern alternative of Hygienic Wall Cladding (HWC). Different finishes have different budget implications in the short and long term. Harder wearing, low maintenance finishes will generally be more expensive to install but have much lower ongoing cleaning and maintenance costs.

Floors are generally limited to vinyl flooring and porcelain tiles. A non-slip finish to meet UK regulations is essential in a washroom and can be accommodated through both these products. If you have a specific finish in mind, then talk to us and we can advise on whether this is achievable.

Ceiling choices are important in areas with high moisture content such as washrooms and even more so in shower rooms. Standard finishes include suspended ceilings with PVC coated wipeable tiles and painted plasterboard. Fans and lighting also need to be considered when choosing your ceiling.

Focus Washrooms offer a free, no obligation, site visit where we can run though all your options in relation to your washroom refurbishment project. We will then supply you with a quotation with a full breakdown of items so you can see exactly what is required and what the costs will be. We endeavour to complete all works in the minimum time possible at a time that is convenient for you.

For more information, or to arrange your free site visit,
please call our sales team on 01362 699 944.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Four of the most common washroom problems…

…and how to fix them.

Over the 22 years that we have been refurbishing washrooms, we’ve seen a few things. We often get asked to solve problems and we always try to include intelligent and practical features when designing a new washroom for you.

Here are the top four washroom problems and how to fix them:

Poor lighting. Dark, dingy washrooms are more prone to vandalism than bright, clean washrooms.

Update the lighting and include sensor operation where possible.
Low energy lighting which does not cast shadows is recommended.

Broken flush/taps/dispensers.

Install sensor operated flush, taps and soap dispensers.
Use stainless steel dispensers instead of plastic.
Ensure correct fittings are used and that the substrate is appropriate for the installation. ie chipboard cubicles will be more likely to suffer damage due to misuse of attached equipment.

Missing tiles.

Replace tiled walls with hygienic wall cladding. Add an image to enhance room appeal.


Water seepage into chipped tiles and grout.

Install hygienic wall cladding. Waterproof and easy to clean with great longevity.

Standing water on vanity tops, basins and floors.

Install wash troughs with effective drainage so soap and water are not left stagnating.
Ensure appropriate floor drains are installed to allow water to escape.


Provision of proper heating and ventilation will help to reduce the amount of condensation.



Clip-on duct and vanity unit panels allow easy access to repair leaks.

Use of incorrect cleaning products.

Ensure the correct cleaning products are used, as recommended in the Operation and Maintenance manuals for your products.


Clip-on duct and vanity unit panels allow easy access to repair leaks.

Standing water and lack of ventilation.

Ensure drainage is appropriate and install mechanical ventilation if natural ventilation is not sufficient.


Standing water and lack of ventilation.

Install floor drain and tap so that floors can be washed and scrubbed down.
Make sure the washroom has adequate ventilation. Install mechanical ventilation is natural is not sufficient.


Install sensor flushes.

Old duct panels/cubicles.

Urine and grey water can soak into unprotected paneling. Check joints and install new paneling, if appropriate.
When renewing panelling, consider a product which is impervious to fluids, such as Solid Grade Laminate.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems and would like to know more about the solutions, then please get in touch. We offer a free site survey to help you make your washroom customer friendly!

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

General Procedures for School Hygiene During Covid-19

With the school calendar year commencing once again, schools across Britain are having to adapt their classrooms and procedures to provide a safer and hygienic environment for their pupils and staff and prevent the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

With the school calendar year commencing once again, schools across Britain are having to adapt their classrooms and procedures to provide a safer and hygienic environment for their pupils and staff and prevent the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Focus Washrooms is a hygiene specialist provider which has been helping schools, hospitals and other high traffic areas for over 20 years. Our products include wall cladding, doors and panels which limit the spread of germs and are easy-to-clean.

Currently, we are helping schools across the UK to implement the best hygiene products and below we have comprised the complete guide for school hygiene requirements in light of COVID-19, in line with UK Government guidelines.

Key Points For School Hygiene During COVID-19

  • Washing hands often
  • Cleaning more regularly
  • Limited use of shared objects
  • Actions if cases break out at school
  • Keeping within bubbles
  • Face masks not a necessity
  • Shielding vulnerable children
  • Pick-up and drop-off
  • Funding COVID-19 procedures


COVID-19 can be reduced and killed from surfaces, objects and hands if the right cleaning products are used and procedures are implemented.

When preventing the spread of COVID-19, we are looking at direct transmission (coming into contact with sneezing and coughing) and indirect transmission (such as touching contaminated surfaces).

Studies show that the virus spreads from person-to-person and by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then by touching your own mouth, nose or your eyes.

The spreading of infection can be reduced and killed by regular cleaning and disinfecting of areas and surfaces that people frequently touch.

Three Main Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Hand Washing

Keeping your hands clean and washed regularly can be one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against the coronavirus.

When the virus is still on an individual’s hand, it risks getting passed on to another person or surface. Germs can enter the body through the mouth, nose or eyes and this can cause the contraction of COVID-19. A good hand washing session should last at least 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser which carries at least 60% alcohol.

Alcohol sanitisers should be available where hand basins are not easily fitted, such as doorways, classrooms, gyms and shared surfaces.

Teachers and staff should teach and reinforce the importance of hand washing, in the school toilet facilities or through hand washing stations on campus. Teachers should incorporate hand washing in the daily routine such as bathroom breaks, before and after lunch and when children have been playing outside.

Some pupils should be supervised when washing hands and extra time should be given to accommodate those children that are social distancing.

Children under the age of 6 should be closely supervised when using hand sanitisers or alcoholic gel to avoid swallowing the substance or getting contact with the eyes.

Hand hygiene should be promoted throughout the school by placing visual cues such as posters on doors and walls, stickers and other materials in highly visible areas.

Cleaning More Regularly

Schools should use disinfectants to reduce germs and bacteria on clean shared surfaces such as tables, doors and other areas, using ready-to-use sprays, concentrates and wipes.

Schools should allow for cleaning staff to work more regularly and clean classrooms sometimes more than once per day e.g lunch breaks and after school

Window ventilation should be used where possible and on a regular basis.

If professional cleaners are not available, students and staff should attend to cleaning shared surfaces and should have adequate accessibility to cleaning and disinfection supplies in each classroom such as cleaning sprays, paper towels and gloves.

School staff should anticipate how much they need in terms of cleaning supplies and should have excess supplies available on the school grounds.

Limit The Use of Shared Objects

There are a number of shared items and objects in a school and classroom environment, which may be carrying the virus if not cleaned or disinfected regularly. This includes, toys, games, computer devices, gym equipment or art supplies.

Pupils should be discouraged from sharing items that are difficult to clean such as books, learning aids, electronic devices and erasers.

Soft and porous materials such as rugs and bean bags may be removed from classrooms due to the challenges involved with sanitising them.

Pupils are encouraged to label any of their own personal items and keep them in labeled containers, lockers or cubbies to avoid shared usage.

Teachers should be responsible for reducing the need to share or touch materials, limiting pupils to their own items or offering equipment to one group of students and disinfecting in between use.

Actions if COVID-19 Cases Break Out at School

Schools should be prepared to implement short-term closures (e.g 1 week or 2 weeks) if there has been an infected person in the school building.

Schools may need to send an entire class or year group home, or depending on the number of cases, temporarily shut down the entire school.

It is advised to close off the potentially infected areas for a significant amount of time and use alternative classrooms where feasible.

Where possible, wait up to 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting the infected area and open any outside doors and windows to increase air circulation.

Areas and surfaces should be disinfected including offices, bathrooms, tables, doors and other shared equipment.

If a Child Develops Symptoms of COVID-19

If a child develops the three main symptoms of COVID-19 including high temperature, loss of taste and smell and a continuous cough, they should do the following:

  • Be sent home and put into isolation for a minimum of 2 weeks
  • If awaiting collection, they should be put in an isolated room with open ventilation and supervised by an adult
  • If an isolation room is not available, they should be outside or in an area that is 2 metres or more apart from other individuals
  • If the child needs to use the bathroom, they should use a separate school bathroom which should be cleaned and disinfected after use
  • PPE (gloves and mask) should be worn by any staff member that is caring for the child. The staff member does not need to go home and isolate but should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If the child’s life is in danger or at risk, please call 999 but do not take the child to a doctor, GP, health centre or pharmacist

Keeping Within Bubbles and Consistent Groups

Whilst it is hard to keep small children 2 metres apart, especially in a classroom or playground, pupils should be assigned to consistent groups, otherwise known as ‘bubbles.’ These consistent groups should be organised and overseen by teachers. Where possible, teachers should look to halve class sizes or reduce class numbers, although this may be restricted with teacher shortages.

Teachers should ensure that different groups or bubbles do not mix during the day. Where possible, pupils should use the same classroom, the same seating or area throughout the day, with a thorough cleaning of this room at the end of each day.

Face Masks ‘Not a Necessity’

Staff members do not require PPE assuming that they are maintaining a 2 metre distance from other individuals and pupils. Unless staff members can regularly change masks and gloves, PPE may not be fully effective.

In addition, if teachers and pupils are distancing, keeping within organised groups, cleaning regularly and washing their hands, these should be effective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The only occasions where PPE such as face masks and gloves may be necessary are when dealing with a child who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or with a child who may be deemed vulnerable.

Shielding Vulnerable Children

Those issues with recurring health issues, vulnerabilities or deemed high-risk should not be expected to attend school or college.

A small minority of children will fall into this category and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.

Pick-up and Drop-off

Schools need to ensure transport arrangements cater for any change in start and finish times. If schools are responsible for school buses and coach rotas, they must ensure that any drivers are not exhibiting any symptoms, there is adequate distancing between passengers (2 metres) and that ample ventilation (either windows or devices) is provided.

Schools should encourage parents and children to walk or cycle with their children to school and avoid rotas which have multiple children and households in one vehicle. Larger vehicles could be used to create distance between pupils or parents should run 2 vehicles rather than one.

Allocated drop-off and pick-up areas may be designated depending on social groups and bubbles.

Funding COVID Prevention Measures

Schools can apply to their local authority to help fund any measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A further £1 billion has been allocated by the UK government to assist with 2 million disadvantaged children whose education may have been affected by COVID-19. Known as ‘catch up activities’ funding will be available in the form of tutors, educational technology and personal coaches. Schools can apply for funding here.

If education or childcare administrators cannot obtain the PPE they need, they can approach their local authority (LA). Local authorities should support them to access local PPE markets and available stock locally, including through coordinating the redistribution of available supplies between settings according to priority needs.

Other Recommendations

Use Outdoor Spaces – Teachers are encouraged to use outdoor spaces for learning where possible, especially for PE.

Classroom Lunch Breaks – To avoid overcrowding in lunch rooms, schools should consider bringing food into classrooms and allowing pupils to eat at their desks, rather than creating a cross-contamination of bubbles and groups in a main lunchroom.

Office Space – Teachers should avoid congregating in shared office spaces and staff rooms and these rooms should be well ventilated and at half capacity or less.

External Resources

Dedicated helpline
There is a dedicated helpline number for education and children’s social care related queries for anyone working in early years through to universities, plus parents. Please call 0800 046 8687 – 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday) or 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday) – for any specific question not covered on this page.

Gov.uk – Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings

Gov.uk – Funding for Coronavirus

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

How do we meet promised project completion dates?

When scheduling your washroom refurbishment project, we always agree a completion date with you. How do we know we can achieve this?

For your projects, we prefer to specify products which we know can be delivered to site and installed on time.

Focus Washroom has a dedicated cubicle manufacturing plant at our Norfolk Headquarters. This means we manufacture all the laminate components for your washroom refurbishment, in house, at the right time.

We also stock a large range of sanitary ware which is ready for distribution to your washroom refurbishment project.

Third parties suppliers are rarely relied upon for the delivery of products – so your products arrive on time.

We have a great team to carry out works.

Each site has a dedicated project manager, responsible for smooth delivery and an excellent finished result.

You can find out more about Mark, one of our project managers here.

We have 21 years of experience.

In the first summer holiday of 1998 in which Focus existed, we refurbished 25 washrooms. In the summer holidays of 2018, we refurbished 110 washrooms. We know what it takes to complete a good washroom refurbishment.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170