All but three of Weydon School’s toilet blocks have been shut for the past month in an attempt to get on top of the school’s ‘vaping problem’.
And according to parents, just one student at a time is currently allowed in the toilets that have remained open, with teachers standing guard by loo entrances at break times.
This has left students on occasion spending their entire lunchtimes queuing to go to the toilet, it is claimed, with several parents airing their concern at the intervention.
Weydon headteacher Jackie Sharman has confirmed the Farnham secondary school has found it necessary to staff and supervise the toilets at social times because of “some misuse by some students”.
But she said this has resulted in just two sets of toilets being locked, with toilet blocks still available in the DT corridor, the Globe and Modern Foreign Language building at break time and lunchtime.
“There are more than enough toilets for all students to access,” said the headteacher. “This action has led to students being able to use the facilities far more quickly and the toilets being much cleaner.
“Students have 20 minutes at break-time and 55 minutes at lunch to find time to use the toilets. We have suggested avoiding the very start and end of social times if students want to avoid a very short wait.
“Most of the time, students do not have to queue at all.
“This process is being closely monitored by our senior leadership team and we can assure you no student is being denied access to toilet facilities. If any parent has any concerns, they are welcome to come and visit the school during break time where they can witness the process in action for themselves.
“This was communicated to the parent body at the beginning of February with no uptake to date.
“We are always encouraging students to think about their environment and realising how fortunate they are to have the facilities they have.
“Every year, the geography curriculum area raise awareness by running a toilet twinning campaign, which has provided clean toilet facilities to other parts of the world less fortunate than Farnham.”
With regards to vaping, Mrs Sharman added Weydon operates a “zero-tolerance” policy towards vapes, and “if a student is caught using or possessing a vape they will be given a suspension”.
She added: “We believe in educating students around these issues in assemblies and tutor time discussions. We are very concerned about how certain companies have targeted young people into vaping.”