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To Sam

Are these toilets legal?

Im a year 11 student in a school, years 7-11. After the summer ended everyone was shocked to see the new, finished addition to the school. They have a unisex all year bathroom with multiple toilets which I guess is fine. At least it would be if THE TOILETS HAD STALLS! There are no stalls. Nothing separating toilets from the room and its not under construction! The toilets are just out in the open. Now there are other disabled, female and male toilets with stalls in the school.

I just cant help wondering if its legal to have an all-year unisex toilet room with no stalls, walls or anything.

Ask Sam


​Hi there,

Schools must provide toilets for pupils and staff and there are guidelines around what those should be like. Everyone should have access to a bathroom that is safe, clean and private - no matter their gender or ability.

The guidelines for your school depend on whether you are in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland - but they all say roughly the same things. The guidelines for England say that schools need to provide separate toilets for boys and girls over the age of 8 years old. The guidelines say that it can be a unisex toilet but only if it's for one pupil at a time and is lockable from the inside. The guidelines for Wales say that toilet cubicles should be lockable and private.

As your school is providing other toilets which meet those guidelines, they probably aren't breaking any rules - though it is very unusual that they would choose to have toilets like this. The best thing to do is try to open a discussion with your school and share your concerns. You may want to show them the guidelines I mentioned for England and Wales, so that they can see how strongly you feel about this.

If you don't feel satisfied with how your school have handled your complaint you can try first writing to your headteacher, then the school's governors. If you still feel things aren't right and you aren’t being listened to, you can talk to the Department for Education - but it's important to go through each of the other steps first.

If you would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling, Childline counsellors are always here to listen.

I hope this has helped, thanks for your letter. Take care.


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