August 02, 2009
The charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (Eric) runs at least one course a month to give school nurses advice about how to deal with late starters who turn up to school in nappies, as well as children with medical issues. Training sessions for teachers are also under discussion.
"With primary schools, toilet training is a real issue at the moment," said Natasha Collins, education and training coordinator. "There is no hard and fast rule about potty training, parents can only do it when their child is ready.
"Some parents do leave it later, perhaps because the children don't seem to be ready. They tend to take a step back and say 'well OK, I'll leave it' whereas in the past there might have been pressure for parents to conform.
"Historically, they really did almost force the children, whether it was the right time for them or not. I do think nowadays, parents seem to be a little more laid back and open to listening to their children, so that could be a reason for it."
Most children are potty trained between the ages of two and three. Although some schools and nurseries do not take children still in nappies, local authorities now warn that they could be breaking the law.
Any admission policy that sets a blanket standard of continence or requires parents to come and change a child, or leaves a child in a soiled nappy while they wait, could be considered discriminatory or even a from of abuse.
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