Mum’s fury as school says daughter, 14, needs doctor’s note for toilet breaks

A furious mum has slammed her daughter’s school as being “like a military academy” because of ‘degrading” rules about toilet breaks.

The mum explained her 14-year-old daughter, who is now in Year 10, had been warned by staff at Bulwell Academy over going to the toilet during lesson time or after the lunch break had ended.

But the parent, who asked not to be named, said she was shocked when she was told in a meeting with the school in June that her daughter, who suffers from heavy periods, would need a letter from a doctor so she could get a "dispensation pass" to go to the loo when required outside of break and lunch time.

The mum, who works in administration and lives in Bulwell, said: "It's like a military academy."

The parent, who asked not to be named, said the policy was "degrading" and "humiliating for the girls".

She told Nottinghamshire Live: "It's no wonder why these children are suffering mentally; mental health-wise it's wrong. It's absolutely ridiculous.

"I am angry, I am so angry parents are having to do this."

She explained that some families face a cost in paying for a note from their GP.

The mum herself didn't have to pay, though, saying: "My GP was amazing – she stated that in her letters the school are literally wasting doctors' time and resources."

The mum explained her daughter was given a dispensation pass by the academy, in Squires Avenue, on the back of the doctor's note.

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The mum, who is 56, said there was a further meeting with the school in July over the issue.

"That is when I said 'you have had the letter, you are still giving her warnings for using the toilet – even though I informed you she is on her period'.

"I wanted an explanation as to why," the mum said.

She explained that she decided get a second letter from the doctor.

The mum, who said the dispensation passes had been in place for students at the academy with a medical condition, claimed there had been recent changes which apply for girls on their period.

Another mum, meanwhile, has also criticised the policy.

Christine Rae, 52, explained she'd had to pay £30 for a letter from a doctor so her daughter – who is also 14 and in Year 10 at the academy – can have a pass to go to the loo in lesson time when on her period.

Miss Rae, who lives in Bulwell, said: "I paid £30 for the GP letter, I have got the receipt and that as well.

"I do not like the way they do it with the kids, it's not right, it's not fair – I am annoyed actually."

She added: "It's like an army in the school, an army camp."

Councillor Ethan Radford, who represents Bulwell on Nottingham City Council for Labour, called for a rethink of the academy's policy.

He said: "I suppose really to expect a child to sit in a classroom for a given period of time whilst they need the toilet, and expect them to concentrate and be able to engage with the lesson, is just unrealistic.

"Especially considering the school are asking parents to provide doctors' notes in order to allow them to go to the toilet during lesson, for which many families have to pay for the doctors' notes.

"I would hope the school would reconsider this policy and be a bit more understanding of the needs of their students, if that also includes [when pupils] need to go to the toilet."

Nottinghamshire Live has approached the academy for a comment.

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