PARENTS have hit back at the idea of banning school pupils from using the loo during lesson times.

The Gazette asked its readers their thoughts on the idea, questioning if schoolchildren in Colchester and beyond should be permitted to go to the toilet during lesson time, whether they have a medical condition or not.

Many said schools should allow this, with many saying it is a “human right” allowing a child to use the toilet.

Kate Fowels said: “I tell my kids they should go at break and lunch but if they genuinely need to go in class and get refused, they are to walk out of class.”

Rachel Hart supported this view, saying “100 per cent they should be.

“My son doesn’t like going during breaks because the toilets are so busy, the locks don’t always work, and the other kids try and open the door.

“This makes him extremely anxious, which he doesn’t need when he is already anxious enough.

“Going in lessons it is much quieter and less stressful for him.”

Sharon Richards said: “My kids have left school now, thank God with what they way they are like now.

“But I always told them if you need the loo you go, if the teacher won’t let you walk up and politely say I’m going to the loo when nature calls it calls.

“The rules nowadays are pathetic.”

Kristian Frankis compared it to rules in the workplace.

He said: “If you need the loo at work, you get up and go.

“If it becomes a problem, or that mutual trust and respect is abused, your supervisor or manager takes it up and addresses the problem with you.

“School is meant to prepare kids for the real world, so why should the rules be different.”

Some, however, supported the rules.

Joanne Marchington said: “No. It's disruptive to the class and disrespectful to the teacher.

“Lessons are what an hour and they have breaks before and after.

“Plus, they can hold it all right for many hours when they're playing PlayStation.”

Meanwhile, Steve Townshend argued some children may abuse the allowance of going during class hours.

He said: “I think there is a slight misunderstanding here.

“If a child goes during their break, it is unlikely, they will need to go during lessons.

“If, however, they do need to go for some unusual reason of course they must go. But that is not what the teachers have a problem with.

“Once there is a rule that you can go then many will take advantage.

“There will be children that go every lesson and even arrange to meet friends from other classes.

“If a student goes every lesson in a five-period day they will lose 50 minutes a day, almost a day per week.

“It also disrupts the lesson for the teacher and the rest of the class.”

Most schools leave it to the discretion of teachers to decide what rules to implement in the classrooms, and this decision does not come from any higher bodies.

A Freedom of Information request was sent to the Department of Education on whether the policy of banning children of going to the toilet between lesson times came from the Government department.

They responded saying: “The Department has not developed or issued any specific guidance for schools on when a child may, or may not, go to the toilet during the school day, and does not hold any such instruction, memo or written advice on this issue.”

Essex County Council also said school toilet policies are set by individual schools.