NEW SCHOOLS across Ireland will be given the choice of installing gender neutral toilets under new design guidance released by the Department of Education.
The introduction of the new guidance come after several educational settings across the country have opted for communal rest rooms in recent years.
Under the proposals, communal sinks will be offered along with standalone cubicles.
According to the guidance notes, the decision to install toilets of this kind will be made by individual schools at the planning stage of any new construction.
It is hoped that toilets of this kind will help stop bullying and other anti-social activities.
The official advice reads: “The safety of the pupils must be balanced against the individual dignity and privacy requirements in sanitary facilities.
“Spacious and well-lit circulation areas designed with visual connectivity to sanitary facilities build a sense of communality.
“Equally, well-considered physical connectivity between these spaces enhances accessibility and reduces the risk of bullying. School design must adapt to modern changing needs.”
The self-contained cubicles designed under the proposals will provide users with maximum privacy.
“All student sanitary facilities are to be designed and located in order to maximise passive supervision and reduce the risk of bulling and anti-social behaviour,” the guidance reads.
“At the same time the privacy of each individual WC unit is not to be compromised.
“WC blocks may be designed so as to provide dual access and egress for student safety, enhance passive supervision, and where the risk of bullying can be further reduced.
“All cubicle spaces containing WCs are to be designed as self-contained spaces with robust full-height separating walls and access doors. Commercial cubicle systems are not considered sufficiently robust for student facilities.”