A high school’s plan to create gender neutral toilets for its pupils has left parents aghast.
Shelley College have announced proposals to make all their toilets unisex, a move which has been slammed as “wrong”.
The plan means removing boys’ and girls’ separate loos and replacing them with an area with closed-cubicles that can be used by all.
One father was left so outraged by the decision he told the school his daughter would be “coming home if she needs to use the toilet”.
A grandparent said parents were “in uproar” and weren’t consulted about the plans.
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Lynn Hardy said: “This means 13-year-old girls will be using the same toilets as much older boys.”
A briefing sent out by the school this week said: “Mixed gender facilities are becoming very common in new build schools, and those with these facilities have very popular feedback from both staff and student viewpoint.
“Due to the change to mixed gender facilities, all toilets will be in enclosed, lockable cubicles, with no urinal blocks.”
Parents have expressed concerns over safety and embarrassment following the decision, particularly for teenage girls.
One woman wrote on Facebook to say: “Some students are private, introverted, shy, suffer from anxiety.
“If you put them in a social situation where they have to go to the bathroom (which is supposed to be private) then this is practically ensuring that they have a panic attack, an anxiety attack...etc. this again could lead to further bullying [sic].
“Women, we have periods, guys, they do not.
“Use this as an example - a girl, goes into a ‘gender neutral’ toilet, she is a year 9 student and is new to the whole experience of becoming a young woman and having periods. She goes into this toilet to find a group of males. Whether that be 2, 3, 6, 9...whatever number. She has no personal privacy of going into that toilet”.
Shelley College insist the new toilets will be safer and easier to monitor.
A spokeswoman for Shelley College said: “The toilets are in need of refurbishment and we’ve had a look at all the alternatives.
“We’ve chosen a new, modern system used in lots of schools.
“The sink area will be open plan, but all the cubicles will be fully enclosed floor to ceiling.
“They are gender neutral, but it’s all fully enclosed and much safer as we are able to better monitor the toilets.
“We have taken advice and looked at other schools where this works. We have issued a briefing of the plans to all parents.”
In 2011 Shelley College caused outrage when it removed mirrors from the girls’ toilets to cut down on them wearing make-up.