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School Toilet Design

Well-designed and attractive toilets demonstrate respect for pupils. With the right design, layout and choices of finishes and fixtures, school toilets can be attractive, safe, durable and low maintenance. Open, bright and attractive toilets will encourage pupils to value themselves and their facilities.

The 'Toilets in Schools' guidelines, published by the Department of Education in 2007, show how toilet design can be improved to address a number of common failings in school toilet provision and includes strategies for effective maintenance and operation of toilets.

The legislation that covers school toilets and washing facilities is the Schools Premises and Regulations (SPRs) 2012.

(See below for helpful design considerations.)

Design Considerations

The total area of toilet and personal care facilities must include:

  • Toilets for pupils: at least one for every 20 pupils;

  • Separate toilets for staff: usually at least one for every ten full-time equivalent members of staff (not including catering staff);

  • Accessible toilets for disabled pupils, staff or visitors;

  • Changing rooms with showers, near to indoor and outdoor sports provision. And should also include:

  • Changing facilities for staff;

  • Specialist hygiene room containing a shower, sluice, toilet, a changing trolley, fixed or mobile hoist and space for assistants.

  • Some of the spaces listed may be designed to allow facilities appropriate to:

  • Adult community use, usually outside the school day;

  • Particular religious requirements, including orientation and ablutions.

  • The location and design of toilet and changing room facilities should balance the demands for both privacy and adequate supervision.


Providing toilet facilities with strength, quality and innovation in design will prolong the area lifespan, saving on costly maintenance.

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