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Scottish schools will have gender neutral toilets under new government plans

By Ross Semple

The Scottish Government has introduced plans to bring gender-neutral toilets to schools across the country.

The move was unveiled as part of plans to update regulations on school premises, which have not been updated in almost 50 years. The Consultation Document on Updating the School Premises (General Requirements and Standards, Scotland, Regulations 1967) advised that the current policy of splitting toilet access 50/50 for boys and girls should be brought up to date.

“The School Premises Regulations do not prescribe standards for accessible sanitary facilities for persons with a disability or refer to unisex toilets that could address gender issues. Therefore, the Regulation needs to be updated and simplified to meet current expectations.”

The plans were praised by the Equality Network. James Morton, Scottish Trans Alliance Manager, told The Scotsman:

“We welcome the proposal from the Scottish Government to introduce gender neutral toilets across more schools in Scotland. A significant number of Scottish schools already successfully have gender neutral toilets. Schools have found that gender neutral private cubicles with open washing spaces reduce bullying and graffiti.

“Therefore, gender neutral toilets are safer for all young people. They are particularly beneficial for transgender young people because otherwise transgender pupils often fear going to the toilet so much that they refuse to drink liquids during the day and experience dehydration.

“Gender neutral toilets are not a radical new idea, they have been commonplace in schools and public venues across Europe for many years. Indeed, we all use gender neutral toilets every day without thinking about it – on planes, trains, and most importantly – in our homes.”

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