Unsafe and Unhygienic Bathrooms can give Lower Ofsted Rating
As well as ensuring children are educated in the best way possible, a child’s safety and health is paramount to a school’s mission. Clean and secure bathrooms should be a key priority for all educational environments, especially if we consider the multitude of students using the services over the course of a day. When Ofsted inspection dawns, preparation can be stressful and time-consuming, with teachers accounting for every minutiae or small element that could impact a great result.
Around inspection time, school staff focus on ensuring lesson structures and teaching methods are in accordance with the curriculum and education standards. Such a process is a natural one to follow during a challenging period, especially when a school’s reputation is formed primarily by its teaching.
So how can washrooms impact an Ofsted result? Even small details such as broken flushes or door-locks can have a negative effect on a school’s report; purely because schools could be seen as compromising child safety and hygiene by having inadequate or unkempt washroom facilities.
Here are some areas that Ofsted has suggested all schools attend to when managing washroom services:
Hot water kept at a maximum of 43 degrees
It is important that water temperature is regulated at a reasonable temperature in order to prevent scalding or other discomfort. Children are less likely to wash their hands if a tap is too hot, resulting in poor cleanliness that will impact your school’s overall Ofsted report and its day-to-day performance in general.
Maintain soap and paper towel levels
If there is no soap then it’s likely that students are not washing their hands properly. Also, if a block of soap is looking like its seen better days, students will adopt the attitude of ‘what’s the point’ and will not pick it up. Stock must be replenished and kept clean at all times. If we get into the psychology of students, if stock looks more attractive students will feel more inclined to use it!
Child privacy should not be compromised
Door locks should be working in toilets to ensure students feel comfortable in the bathroom. Urinals should also have small partitions separating one from the other, in order to keep personal areas private within a large space with open-plan hand-washing areas.
Conditions of bathrooms
Visitor toilets must be distinguished from student toilets to protect the health of both groups. Ofsted also advise an appropriate cubicle-to-sink ratio to prevent a backlog of students waiting to wash their hands. Lastly, it is important to have a suitable number of disabled toilets in the building to meet regulations and to ensure people with disabilities feel comfortable using washroom facilities.
Schools must begin to see an Ofsted review from a bird’s eye perspective. To ensure schools avoid any unexpected Ofsted feedback, it is time they treated bathrooms seriously, paying equal attention to washroom cleanliness as they do teaching methods.