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.

 

OPEN SPACES
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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.

 

USING COLOUR & DESIGNS
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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.

 

PRIVACY
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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.

 

HYGIENE
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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.

Please contact us today to discuss your upcoming project.

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