The facilities within schools and universities, including washrooms, can have an impact on a student’s educational experience. So, if you’re looking to refurbish your school’s toilets, here are a few things we recommend you consider…
Expectations for different age groups.
From nurseries through to universities, it’s important to provide appropriate facilities for differing age ranges when designing your washroom.
Selecting the right toilet cubicles is the best place to start. Small children may find entering an adult size cubicle intimidating. So, installing toilet cubicles that have low-height doors and shaped partitions is a fantastic option for nurseries and primary school washrooms. This gives children the freedom to be self-sufficient in their self-care, whilst still allowing for appropriate adult supervision. Our Lollipop and Genesis toilet cubicle ranges have been specifically designed with children aged 2-11 in mind and offer fun designs combined with practical fittings and safety features.
Similar considerations should be taken for hand wash stations. Low-height vanities with semi-recessed sinks are a popular choice as they allow younger children to get up close to the taps, limiting water spills. Solid Surface washtroughs are also proving to be a popular and space saving option for little ones. Washtroughs also allow for more taps to fit into the sink space, helping to meet required scales of provision.
When it comes to secondary schools, colleges and universities, alternative considerations need to be made. Older children and young adults want to feel at ease, preferring full-height cubicles for more privacy. The toilet cubicles themselves need to be tough enough to withstand heavy usage and potential anti-social behaviour. Metal framed cubicles such as Centurion offer ultimate rigidity, while the Full Height Privacy option within this range also provides complete privacy for all users with doors and partitions spanning from floor to ceiling with only a 5mm gap under the door.
Ensuring student safety.
With approximately 30,000 children trapping or crushing fingers each year, anti-finger trap safety features should be high priority. Our education toilet cubicle ranges all have clever safety hinges to eliminate the risk of trapped fingers (and meet British Standard BS 7036 Part 4: item 7.1).
Other features such as emergency release indicator bolts and anti-finger trap hinges, come as standard, giving you peace of mind that accidents will be eliminated and children will be safe when using the facilities. Similarly, opting for an open-plan design with full height cubicles with partitions taken to the floor with only a 10mm clearance, can help minimise bullying and anti-social behaviour in secondary schools.
Accessibility and compliance.
It is essential that the washroom facilities in schools are accessible to all students. If space is of a premium it is not always possible to have a dedicated disabled toilet. The good news is, all Venesta toilet cubicle ranges are available in over-sized widths that make it possible to meet accessibility requirements and allow for disabled access. Coupled with outward opening doors and a range of assistance accessories fitted within the space, our cubicles will ensure you meet the required standards, whilst allowing for inclusion and providing the same welcoming experience received in our standard cubicles.
Not sure on the key requirements for education washrooms set out by the Department for Education? You can find out more in our recent article; how many toilets are needed in a school washroom?
Selecting the right colour palette.
A well-chosen décor can contribute positively to any environment. Research has shown that colour in a learning environment can reduce stress, improve visual processing and challenge brain development. Colour is inherent in everything we see and do and often overlooked in how it can influence emotion, productivity, communication and learning. While research is varied, it is certain that the use of colour can have a significant impact.
Discover our range of colours and how they can help to boost stimulation and good behaviour in your school.
Gender specific washrooms.
Unisex toilets, particularly in secondary schools, have long been encouraged and have been proven to reduce bullying. Having shared facilities makes students feel safer when using the washrooms by reducing seclusion and allowing for staff supervision. It can also help with transgender equality.
A great example of successfully introducing unisex toilets in a secondary school was achieved by Tudor Grange Academy, who installed Venesta Centurion Full Height toilet cubicles during a complete refurbishment of their facilities.
Hygiene and easy maintenance.
School toilets are amongst the most in demand, high-traffic areas of a school. With that in mind, school washrooms require enhanced hygiene schedules, so should not only incorporate robust toilet cubicles but ergonomic and easy to clean designs across the rest of the washroom.
Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) is an ideal material choice for both cubicles and vanities for schools. SGL is impact resistant and impervious to water so can therefore meet the most stringent specifications of durability and hygiene.
The perfect accompaniment in any school washroom is the inclusion of Solid Surface washtroughs. A hardwearing solution, which can withstand regular and thorough cleaning regimes; helping to keep all students safe while at school.
Reducing installation times.
Most school toilet refurbishment works will take place during the school holidays, so specifying a pre-plumbed panelling solution will ensure speedy installation when time is of the essence.
Offering quicker installation and simpler ongoing maintenance, Vepps is a brilliant washroom panelling solution for busy schools. With Vepps, sanitaryware, brassware and fittings are pre-plumbed and tested in our factory, so installation is hassle free and can be completed in just four easy steps. High strength, linear-bearing hinges allow for the panels to be opened rather than completely removed, meaning maintenance of the facilities couldn’t be simpler. The panels can be fitted with locks to ensure access to the duct space is not possible by students, ensuring safety and security.
You can find out more about Vepps in our dedicated video.
You can explore our full range of education specific products here.
How can we help?
Speak to us about your project.
The options seem vast, but our specialist specification team can make finding the optimum solution for your school easy and enjoyable.
Our friendly, helpful team can share the benefit of their experience and help you find the most suitable school washroom solution. They will continually support you right through to our after sales service and leave you with a 10-year product guarantee.
Get in touch with a member of the team to discuss your ongoing or future education washroom projects by calling 01474 353333, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the form here.
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