What can I do about the toilets at my school?

Our office has been told many times about issues with school toilets— that they’re dirty, have no soap, hot water or handtowels, have no doors on cubicles and aren’t accessible outside of break times.

In 2013, we launched a campaign to improve school toilets and conducted research with children and young people.  As part of this, we called on the Scottish Government to publish new standards for toilets in schools in Scotland.  The Government consulted on the 1967 school premises regulations, but has not yet updated them.

Your rights

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children and young people have the right to health and the right to privacy.

Because of this, school toilets should be safe, accessible and fit for purpose.

What you can do

You should discuss the problems about the toilets with your head teacher. If this doesn’t improve things, you could ask your parent council to get involved.

If this doesn’t help, you can make a formal complaint to your local education authority—you can find information about how to do this on your council’s website by searching under the word ‘complaints’.

If you are not happy with the local education authority’s response to your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to look at how your complaint was handled.


If you are a child or a young person and would like advice and information from the Commissioner’s office – or to tell us something you’re worried about – you can contact us:

  • using the form at the bottom of our website
  • emailing us at inbox@cypcs.org.uk
  • texting 0770 233 5720 (Texts will be charged at your standard network rate)
  • calling our children and young people’s freephone on 0800 019 1179.

We can also give advice and information about children’s rights issues to adults—please contact us on inbox@cypcs.org.uk or through using our contact form.

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