A FORMER children’s commissioner has said Essex schools locking their toilets during lesson times is a “scandal”

Maggie Atkinson, the former Children’s Commissioner for England, told BBC Essex it is a scandal that schools across Essex are preventing children from going to the toilet.

Last week, there was outrage by a number of parents after a Billericay school wrote to parents saying toilets would be locked during lesson time.

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This isn’t the first school in Essex that has made this change.

Maggie Atkinson has slammed the decisions made by a number of Essex schools, saying it needs to stop.

She told BBC Essex: “Human rights include the right to be dignified.

“Schools who say it is a matter of discipline, actually need to give their heads a wobble, it is a matter of power and control.

“Sort yourselves out, and make sure your loos are open. If you need to patrol them, do it, but please if you are going to grow children, who are going to be leaders and citizens of the future, then they have to understand that their dignity is important.

“This is a scandal. It isn’t just a school choice, it is a scandal, and it needs to stop.

“Children will get to the stage, where they are phobic about eating and drinking just because they might need to go to the loo. What is that about, let’s be grownups here, and make sure we are caring for young people and showing them the way, by not locking things up because that is the easiest.”