A parent of a child at a borough school has spoken of how her child has suffered as a result of a new rule restricting pupils’ usage of toilets.

Tottington High School has introduced a new rule to ban students using the toilets during lessons and has even installed extra locks on toilet doors to enforce it.

Students who have medical reasons for the toilet or menstrual needs are able to gain access to separate, disabled toilets.

The pupils this applies to are given black wristbands to indicate their exemption.

Students who are menstruating have to notify staff, usually at the start of the day, to obtain a band.

A parent has spoken to The Bury Times about how her daughter and many other pupils are upset by the rule and the difficulty it has already caused her child.

She said her daughter started her period during a lesson halfway through the school day, and so did not have a black band to allow her use of the toilets.

Because of this, she could not access sanitary products and led to a leakage.

The mum said: “She obviously doesn’t want to announce that to the whole class- but how else is she able to have permission?

“She was and has been more distracted from the lesson worrying about this than she would have been if she had been able to use the toilet normally, and I know her friends have had similar issues too.”

The spoke spoke of her frustration at the situation and how she does not think menstrual problems are the only issue with the rule.

She added: “What about the basic human need to use the bathroom?

“These are only children remember, sometimes they’re going to forget to go during breaks and they shouldn’t have to sit uncomfortably for hours because of that.”

She explained that she understands the issues with children causing trouble or using the toilet as an excuse to miss lessons, but that she believes there must be a better solution than restricting every pupil.

Her daughter said: “I honestly feel like I’m in a prison.

“The disabled toilets are really dirty and full of spiders so I’m scared to use them.

“I’ve asked to go to the girls bathroom before instead of the disabled unisex toilets and they won’t let me.

“I feel like I have to hold my period but since that’s not possible, I leak.

“I know my friends have all had similar issues.”

The school's headteacher Kristy Gardner said: “We understand the importance of addressing the concerns raised, and we take the wellbeing of our students seriously.

“The primary purpose of the new policy is to maintain a secure and conducive learning environment, balancing the need for student safety and minimising disruptions during lesson time.”

The school says they are currently reviewing the policy to ensure students can discreetly communicate their needs with teachers.

Mrs Gardner added: “I can assure all parents that students have access to toilets throughout the entire school day. We have simply rationalised the number that are open.

“We would like to show the community that we are committed to addressing this matter promptly and with the utmost consideration for the students' welfare.

“We will always listen to feedback and adjust policy where needed.”