Scottish Daily Mail
Parents’ fury forces U-turn on unisex toilets for pupils
A SCHOOL has been forced to make a U-turn over unisex toilets after a backlash from parents and pupils.
Staff and pupils at Culloden Academy in Inverness returned from the school break to find the new set-up in place.
Locals were concerned at the prospect of girls as young as 11 sharing toilets with boys as old as 18, while some pupils said they were uncomfortable with the decision.
Headmaster James Vance claimed he had nothing to do with the change, which was implemented by Highland Council.
As of yesterday, the school reverted to providing separate toilets for males and females but there will be the option of unisex loos.
Nationalist MSP Fergus Ewing said: ‘It is good news that the council have not only listened to but also acted upon the expressed concerns of parents – concerns which I appreciate.’
Culloden Academy issued a statement last week telling parents and pupils that the toilet ‘improvements’ had been ‘necessary’ to address pressures from the increased school roll.
It continued: ‘There are similar facilities in place at Alness Academy, Wick High School, Inverness Royal Academy and Charleston Academy... the new toilet cubicles and doors are full height and fully enclosed for improved security and privacy for pupils.
‘The handwashing areas are open plan and can be easily supervised from the corridor. This approach provides greater flexibility in how the school makes use of the facility either now or in the future.’
It said that separate boys and girls toilets would return from yesterday but a new toilet area would be designated as unisex.
A community group shared the council’s update on Facebook, writing: ‘Could consulting school, parents, and pupils have saved a lot of time and money?’
The post has collected more than 600 likes, together with hundreds of comments from locals who support the U-turn. Kelly Lewis More said: ‘Highland Council is an absolute joke. Let’s make a really stupid decision, cause distress and waste money – even though we know it’s stupid and will have to waste even more money to sort things out.
‘Go team. We’ve got a great team taking our money and making wise financial decisions with it... not.’
Margaret MacLeod said: ‘Whoever in Highland Council thought that this would be a good idea, needs to be now looking for another job. The Highland Council need their heads examined and quickly.’
However some group members backed same-sex toilets.
Sandra Hercher wrote: ‘People use cubicles at the swimming pool, shared showers and no one bats an eye. The layout is open plan, people are so stuck in their ways it’s unreal.’
‘They need their heads examined’