Modern bathroom designs to influence safeguarding and wellbeing for the education sector

We’re pleased to announce we have secured the £0.25 million Phase 2 of an innovative, safeguarding bathroom refurbishment programme for The Sutton Academy in Sutton in Ashfield. The successful phases have also led to notification that Ian Williams will be the sole supplier to work on the next Academy Science Block refurbishment project, valued at £0.5million.

With decades of experience working in the education sector, the Ian Williams’ team provide added-value refurbishment solutions to schools, colleges and Universities across the UK in the private and public sectors. The facility improvement programmes currently being undertaken on behalf of the Academy Transformation Trust, serve to illustrate how intelligent and innovative design and refurbishment can have a direct, positive impact on safeguarding and student well-being.

James Watkins, Ian Williams General Manager who is heading up the project comments: “We all acknowledge that safeguarding is an issue within schools, particularly in toilet blocks which are recognised as a hotspot for targeting pupils to intimidate and threaten. In fact, the National Anti-bullying survey of 2017 found that 20% of young people had experienced some form of bullying in the last year, with many citing school toilets as a prime spot for this to happen.

“That’s why when Ian Williams was approached to offer solutions for the Sutton Academy’s washroom refurbishments, working in partnership with the school, the Academy Transformation Trust and specialist consultants, we considered design and layout as well as hygiene and accessibility, to help transform these once no-go areas into safer, less intimidating places.

“Research has shown that making toilets unisex discourages pupils from congregating in the area, so the roll-out of Phases 1 and 2 of our refurbishments has seen us create unisex washrooms within a large open plan layout, with mirrored walls onto corridors where supervisors and teachers can see what’s happening. We’ve eradicated hidden areas and small alcoves, and installed two lots of cubicles, one side for females and one for males with washbasins in the centre for all users to share. Of course, Unisex and shared washrooms also help with transgender equality, and create an option for everybody without them having to feel uncomfortable or intimidated when visiting the washroom.

“We’re delighted that the school and Trust have acknowledged how Phase 1 of the new washroom design and installation has already helped them to exercise their duty of care to students in a bid to eradicate bullying. These refurbishments go to show how clever design can be more than just aesthetic, and we’re proud to see how the improvements we’ve already carried out, are supporting The Sutton Academy on its journey to achieve ‘Outstanding’ status.”

For more information and case studies on the work Ian Williams carries out in the education sector, https://www.ianwilliams.co.uk/our-markets/education/