Cornwall school under fire from parents over toilet rules and red ‘period pass’ cards

Cornwall school under fire from parents over toilet rules and red ‘period pass’ cards

February 2, 2023 at 9:09 p.m

Penrice Academy, Cornwall.

Image: Google Maps

A Cornish secondary school has come under fire from parents over rules governing the use of toilet facilities by pupils during lessons, including pupils using the loo only outside of lessons and girls requesting a red card while on their period.

Penrice Academy policy is that students should only visit the toilets outside of class time.

The principal defended the approach, saying it was in place to maximize study time.

The school also insisted the rule will never prevent students from using the toilet if they are really in need.

Some took to Facebook to express their anger. Kim Bailey wrote: “Every person, child or adult, should be able to use the toilets at all times.

Penrice Academy, Cornwall

Penrice Academy, Cornwall.

Image: Google Maps

“They’re not going to say ‘please sir, I’ve got some diarrhea.’ Or ‘please may I go to the toilet, my period has started’.

“If schools are all about nurturing and nurturing children, some of these controlling and archaic rules need to be reconsidered.”

One mother added: “You should know by now that these rules are for students and are not approved by anyone.

“Red passports are a ridiculous idea. This is a complete invasion of privacy for young girls.”

While another said: “Assigning a red card doesn’t make sense, nor is it a sensible response. It clearly segregates these young people. Who are already under a lot of pressure is an invasion of their privacy.”

The school said students can request “red card period passes” in advance to keep in their pockets and use when needed.

In a newsletter, they also shared with parents the school’s “long-standing expectations regarding coats in the hallways and access to toilets during class time.”

Continue reading: Andrew Marr: Resolving the Northern Ireland Protocol is ‘the biggest political challenge facing Sunak’

Continue reading: Police identify ‘woman in red’ as they step up search for missing mother Nicola Bulley

Principal Lucy Gambier defended the policy, saying: “All students are encouraged to wear coats during breaks and when going outside a school building to another lesson.”

She continued, “Our primary request is that coats are removed once inside so that students can proudly represent the school in their full uniforms.

“Penrice students are welcome to use the toilet facilities at the beginning of the day, between classes, during breaks, at lunchtime and at the end of the day.

“This equates to 6 opportunities throughout the day, each no more than 75 minutes apart. This policy is designed to maximize study time and minimize classroom disruption.

“Of course there are exceptions such as medical problems and unexpected periods; Toilet passes can be purchased by students who need flexibility or peace of mind.

Deputy Headmaster James Hammersley added: “We understand that girls are not always able to plan the start of their periods, which can happen during class.

“With that in mind, girls can request red period cards through their tutors to keep in their pocket if needed.

“This system has always worked well and many Penrice girls already know and use the cards.

“Crucially, this system is trust-based and monitored to ensure the cards are used appropriately.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *