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School toilet facilities – basic requirements

In order to comply with school premises regulations, each school must meet basic standards. This can be a source of some confusion because there are currently two sets of school premises regulations in place; one for state schools and another that covers independent schools, which includes free schools and academies.

Whilst at first glance this may seem confusing, It is important to note that, although there are two sets of regulations in place, they are in fact exactly the same and apply to all schools.

The regulations are thorough and in-depth. Our experienced team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about your obligations under these regulations. Whilst not an exhaustive list, we’ve put together some quick basic requirements that apply to school washroom facilities. They are outlined below :


1. Separate Toilets for Boys and Girls

Separate toilet facilities must be in place for boys and girls aged 8 or over. Exceptions are made for disabled facilities and for unisex toilets that can be secured from the inside and are meant to be used by one person at a time.

2. Drinking Water

Drinking water must be supplied in a separate area from the toilets. There must not be a drinking water supply within the school toilets. Children must be able to access drinking water whenever needed and it should be clearly marked as drinking water.

3. Non-Drinking Water 

There should be an adequate supply of hot and cold water to sinks, basins and shower facilities and toilets and urinals should have an adequate supply of cold water.

4. Water Temperature

So as not to pose a scalding risk, it’s best practice to ensure that the temperature of hot water in primary schools and nursery schools does not exceed 43 degrees centigrade.

5. Boarding School Toilet Regulations

The toilet and washing facilities in boarding schools should be in a location that is reasonably accessible from the sleeping accommodation. Boarding school toilets should also suit the ages, sex and number of boarders and any requirements they have.

Because there may be fewer staff members available outside of school hours, or those that are there may not be in the immediate vicinity, boarders may be more vulnerable outside school hours. The safeguarding of pupils during these times must be taken into account when considering the location of boarding school toilet facilities.

6. How Many Toilets Should Boarding Schools Have?

There should, as a general guide, be one toilet for every five boarders and a washbasin for every three boarders. There should be a bath or shower for every ten boarders.