CONTROLLING school rules like needing a doctor’s note to use the toilet in lessons could see kids drop out of school, an expert has warned.
Psychologist Emma Kenny says it’s “bizarre” that any child would need special permission to use the bathroom in class and if schools are “too strict” they could see kids “drop off”.
The Sun recently reported how some schools are making kids show permission slips from their GP or parent to use the loo in lessons.
The measures were said to get pupils into good habits when managing their comfort breaks and ensure pupils get the most out of their learning.
But Emma believes super strict measures could have a damaging effect on child development.
"Personally I think it’s bizarre that any child would be asked to show evidence from a doctor that they are allowed to go to the toilet,” she told the Sun Online.
“I do think rules and regulations in school are obviously important to some degree, but so is flexibility.
“Children shouldn’t in any way, shape or form be compromised or embarrassed because of their needs.”
The registered psychotherapist, who believes in compassionate parenting and teaching techniques, also thinks “it’s worrying that people want to exert that level of control”.
“An idea that this level of control is something we would see in the rest of our life - it just doesn’t happen,” she said.
“You don’t go to work and get told by your boss you can’t go to the toilet.”
And if rules are too strict, the mum-of-two believes youngsters are more likely to “drop off” the system.
“Kids who really need education don’t get it because they’re out - they didn’t fit that particular trajectory of what’s expected,” she said.
“Or if they’re at home and they’re getting really harsh discipline, they're also more likely to be more aggressive, they’re more likely to be a little bit more cut throat, have a lack of empathy in experiences and bully behaviours as well - so we’re not necessarily doing a great deal of good when we overdo this strict behaviour and discipline."
According to one top doctor, restricting kids’ toilet trips is not generally harmful for them on the inside.
Dr Richard Viney, a consultant urological surgeon, says holding on is an important part of growing up.
The senior lecturer in urology told The Sun: “In reality, asking a child to hold on is not likely to cause significant harm and is part of bladder training that goes with growing up.
“Indeed, if children were allowed to go to the toilet on demand you may do their bladder development more harm than good due to learning poor bladder behaviour.”
He added as children get older, they learn greater bladder control, which benefits from “a relatively strict approach to access to toilets at break time at school”.
But the consultant believes a doctor’s note is "a little heavy handed”.
"There will be times when a student is struggling.
"They may have drunk too much at break and not been able to access a toilet for some reason and clearly it would be wrong to deny that individual the opportunity to go to the toilet.
"There are also a number of medical conditions in which an individual might need to use the toilet at short notice."
'REMOVED THE DOORS'
It comes after one mum claimed that her daughter’s school “removed the doors” of their toilet blocked and reportedly told the girls to “hold in” their periods.
Students at All Saints Academy in Weymouth, Dorset, were told they must provide a doctor’s note if they wish to use the loo during class.
When they got back to school after the summer holidays, students were allegedly met with a bizarre lack of privacy - as all the doors leading to their toilet blocks were allegedly missing.
Fuming mums at a school in Bristol also hit out at King’s Oak Academy, Kingswood, for not allowing kids to go to the loo outside of break time.
They are only allowed if they have a teacher’s note or a medical pass, and are also allegedly going without water to avoid trouble with teachers.