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Row rumbles on over locked toilets at John O'Gaunt School in Hungerford

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A LOCKED toilet trial at a Hungerford school will continue for the foreseeable future, despite an angry reaction from some.

Last week this newspaper reported how in a letter sent to parents, John O'Gaunt School reported it is "trialling" a regime of locking the pupils' toilets during lesson times due to instances of vandalism.

The toilets remain open at break and lunchtimes and also before and after school.

John O'Gaunt School (56607134)
John O'Gaunt School (56607134)

Several parents contacted the NWN condemning the trial and pointed out that girl pupils may need to access the toilets during their period without having to explain themselves.

Others suggested it was a "human right" to be able to access the toilets during lessons.

Not everyone agreed, however.

One teacher from another school told the NWN it was not uncommon for toilets to be locked during lessons.

Another reader posted: "As long as those with medical reasons can get access when needed I can’t see an issue.

"I am a primary school teacher and my year 4s are not allowed to go during lesson time.

"As for those saying teachers go when needed, that is rubbish."

Others named Newbury schools where it was reported to be the practice to lock toilets following instances of nicotine vaping or vandalism.

The school authorities, including the governors, have declined to comment publicly.

One said: "Governors are aware, but do not get involved in operational matters.

"Students that genuinely need to use the toilets during lesson time can access them."

The letter to parents acknowledged the trial would be contentious.

It continued: "Students have plenty of opportunities at these times to use the facilities but students with medical needs will still be allowed to use a different toilet.

"In rare, exceptional circumstances where a student may need to use a facility during lesson time, they should report to Student Reception in the first instance."

It is not known how long the trial period will continue.

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