Political & Public Support
Change.org Petition - Reinstate male and female toilets within schools
Please sign our petition here:-
Currently over 1,100 signatures !
Political Support and Opposition
We have written to all councillors in the Highland Region who are standing for re-election in May 2022
Statements from candidates who reply will be posted here and on our Facebook page.
James Duncan - ALBA candidate for Inverness South
Dear Highland Parents Group
Margaret Davidson - Independent - Ward 12 – Aird & Loch Ness
Thank you for your email of 13th March.
Toilet areas in our new school buildings are not specifically designed as “mixed-sex” or “gender-neutral”.
All of the toilet partitions 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. It is widely considered that this model can contribute to positive pupil behaviour, reduce the potential for vandalism, and be less intimidating for pupils.
This approach allows a degree of flexibility in how toilet areas are managed across a school campus to meet specific requirements. For example, there could be a combination of traditional female and male toilet areas and other areas that are not labelled in this manner, or some areas could be allocated for specific year groups.
While the School Premises (General Requirements and Standards) (Scotland) Regulations 1967 state that half the sanitary accommodation shall be for boys, and the other half for girls, this does not take account of current best practice, e.g. the Regulations specifically refer to the requirement for urinals, which we no longer install in schools.
Councillor Margaret Davidson
The Highland Council
Ward 12 – Aird & Loch Ness
Marjorie Smith - ALBA candidate for Nairn and Cawdor
Thank you to The Highland Parents Group for the excellent work you have done so far on this issue.
I confirm it is very much my own position as well as Alba party policy that we support all of your Campaign Aims 100%.
Alba shares your grave concerns regarding the impact of these changed facilities on all children but particularly girls and if elected we will certainly be fighting as hard as possible to remove these unisex toilets only facilities and prevent their installation.
Alba Candidate for Ward 18 Nairn and Cawdor
John Finlayson - Independent - Ward 10 – Eilean a'Cheo
Chair of Education Committee
Hector Macleod - ALBA candidate for Eilean A' Cheò
Dear The Highlands Parent Group
Thank you for your email,
I too share your concerns regarding the issues you raise.
If elected in May I will continue to raise these concerns and seek to reverse or block any further implementation of mixed sex ONLY toilets in any highlands schools.
I would advocate the council should meet two clauses before discussing any further moves on this,
A full public consultation with Teachers, Parents and Children take place.
A legal review be made to ensure any further (or previous) proposals are lawful under the School Premises (General Requirements and Standards) (Scotland) Regulations act 1967 as well as the Equalities Act 2010 for those in higher education
Important to note I do not stand against mixed sex toilets, should a proposal be put forward of mixed sex toilets being implemented along with Male and Female toilets and the choice being made available I would (as long as above clauses were met) be in favour.
I have previously emailed all my elected councillors, msp’s, mp and the first minister Nicola sturgeon raising my concerns about this.
Regarding my councillors reply I appreciated councillor Finlayson and councillor Macleod replies stating they would pass on and consider but the reply that I appreciated the most was councillor Munro’s for his honestly and openness stating he didn’t know enough about the situation to comment, (it is rare to find elected members who will be this honest and open and I really appreciated it)
As a note regarding msp’s, mp and first minister replies,
All were as I expected although I would challenge Emma Roddick msp and Arianne Burgges msp replies that this is what Scotland voted for by voting Snp/Scottish Greens in May
That’s not what I hear voters voted for when I speak to snp and green voting friends.
The one Msp reply that I did appreciate was Kate Forbes Msp who was open, honest and factual in her reply.
In summery if elected I will work to stop,
ONLY mixed sex toilets being implemented in any schools unless I’m satisfied it’s the wish of teachers, parents and children while also meeting legal requirements,
I would support mixed sex toilets IF the choice of male or female toilets were offered.
I would continue to push the Scottish government to contribute and work with councillors as well as teachers, parents and children to find a consensual agreement on this.
If Elected (or through election campaign) I can be of any further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Yours For Scotland
Eilean A' Cheò Alba Candidate
Isabelle MacKenzie - Ward 16 Inverness Millburn - Scottish Conservative and Unionist
That all parents, carers and pupils should be allowed a consultation on this proposal before any bathrooms are changed. I understand from recent studies mixed sex toilets in primary and secondary will take away the dignity and privacy of young pupils. It could develop fears and some pupils feeling unsafe and vulnerable. Mixed toilets would the education department supervise them like playgrounds? Would teaching staff also have mixed sex bathrooms? The decision for mixed toilets should be with parents/carers and young people. Would I like a stranger to come and have shared use of my bathroom at home? There are disabled toilets, so they could be mixed sex use? Why undo the toilets already in use for male and female pupils? There are still answers to be looked at.
Trish Robertson - Ward 17 Culloden and Ardersier - Scottish Liberal Democrats
I have to agree with your comments on the unsuitability of this move to open plan toilets.
I have also heard the reason for this being to decrease the incidence of bullying.
These were installed at Culloden Academy and I raised objection when I found out only to be told this was what Scot Gov were recommending.
Subsequent outcry by the parents confirmed my view. The HT exercised his right to reorganise and change the designation to single sex blocks. There still exists a small block which is unisex!
I feel what was done at Culloden was a good result and hope we can take this action on other sites.
Tamala Collier - SNP Candidate for Cromarty Firth
I have looked a lot into the matter in relation to the introduction of open plan toilets in school and it appears the intentions behind them were good. The intentions were to save money, so it could be used on other areas, and to decrease bullying. Although, these toilets could stop some bullying on the one hand, they can clearly create some in another way. Many girls and boys already avoid using school toilets when they are separate and, from what I have heard from people who have children at Alness Academy, these toilets increase that avoidance. Children who avoid using toilets are at risk from urinary tract infections, constipation and other medical issues. I do support the reintroduction of separate boys and girls toilets.
Douglas Ross - Scottish Conservatives Leader
It is right that Highland Council has addressed parent concerns and the new Ness Castle primary school will be built with separate toilets.
However, it should never have been the case that parents have had to fight for a school to have boys’ and girls’ toilets. That should be the minimum standard.
Scottish Conservatives councillors will seek to ensure that there are single-sex spaces available in all council-run facilities including schools.