Scots school forced to make U-turn on unisex toilets after backlash

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A SCOTS school has been forced to make a U-turn on their decision to implement unisex toilets after facing backlash from fuming parents and pupils.

Culloden Academy in Inverness today returned back to providing separate male and female toilets after uproar from locals.

Parents and pupils at the school hit out after returned back from the school holidays to find the school’s separate toilets had been changed for unisex ones.

Culloden Academy | Scottish News
Parents and pupils were furious with the change.                                                                            (C) Culloden Academy

Locals were concerned at the prospect of girls as young as 11-years-old sharing toilets with boys as old as 18. 

And pupils from the school said they were uncomfortable with the decision.

The school’s headmaster James Vance claimed he had nothing to do with the change and returned back from the summer break to discover the new set up in place.

Local councillor Duncan Macpherson revealed that Highland Council had implemented the move during the summer holiday.

But as of today, the high school reverted back to providing separate toilets but said going forward they they will also offer the third option of unisex loos.

Culloden Academy issued a statement on Friday, saying: “The new S1/S2 and S3/S4 toilets have been completed in line with the programme dates advised to the Stakeholder Group in June and communicated in end-of-term letters to pupils and parents. 

“These improvements are necessary in order to provide additional, fit-for-purpose toilet facilities to address the pressures from the increased school roll. 
 
“There are similar facilities in place at Alness Academy, Wick High School, Inverness Royal Academy and Charleston Academy. 

“These are in line with what is happening across Scotland – open plan / unisex facilities are generally being used in new-builds and refurbishments.

“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 is widely considered that this model of toilet facility can contribute to positive pupil behaviour and reduce the potential for vandalism.

“An Interim arrangement was put in place at the start of the new session until the S5/S6 toilets are completed, with the new toilet areas being unisex.

“Following feedback from pupils during the first week, this has been reviewed and the S1/S2 toilets are to be redesignated as boys’ toilets and the S3/S4 toilets as girls’ toilets with effect from Monday morning.
 
“The plan is that these arrangements will continue after all the toilet improvements are complete, and the third new toilet area will be designated as unisex. However, there will be ongoing dialogue with pupils in the coming weeks.”

Culloden Academy | Scottish News
The Highland Council supposedly made the change whilst the schools were on their summer break.            (C) Google Maps

A community group for Inverness shared the update to Facebook on Saturday writing: “Could consulting school, parents, and pupils have saved a lot of time and money?” 

 The post has now collected over 600 likes with hundreds of comments from locals who were pleased by the decision. 

Kelly Lewis More said: “The 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.”

Naomi Mulreany said: “Jesus I can’t even believe this was being considered. This potentially could have had catastrophic consequences.”

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.”

And Stuart Gorman added: “We thank Highland Council for its return to sanity, perhaps a bit more common sense required in the decision making process in future. You have made the correct decision with your reversal.”

However some group members were on board with the same sex toilets.

Sandra Hercher said: “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.”

And Eilidh McLeod wrote: “There should be a mix of male, female and unisex.

“There are transgender children and they must be considered too.” 

Speaking today independent counselor for Inverness South, Duncan Macpherson, said: “The toilets are up to the ceiling and you can’t see under the door, it is floor to ceiling. 

“There is more privacy than the traditional cubicles.

“The problem is the communication with it, people have to be used to the idea.

“There were some S 1 to S 3 uncomfortable and who ended up going home early because of it. 

“It’s definitely not everyone’s favorite idea.”