A UK primary school has been forced to hire a professional nappy changer because too many of its pupils are not yet toilet trained.

Claims the school in Walsall has sent letters to parents listing the skills children should have before they start.

Many youngsters are three years behind according to Chris Towe, the council’s portfolio holder for education, who reported to colleagues on Monday.

Pupils at the West Midlands school are unable to hold a pen properly, with some also struggling with cutlery, Birmingham Live reports.

Some supposedly can’t wash their hands and faces properly and other areas in which the children struggle include turning pages, going to the toilet and still wearing nappies.

Councillor Towe’s report also highlighted that children up to the age of five are still wearing nappies at one infant school.

‘This can’t go on and I have had total support from schools and nurseries over this,’ he said.

‘The letter will give advice on what they can do or where they can get help but this is a first step to try to engage with parents so they understand their responsibilities.’

Was your child fully toilet trained before starting school?

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  • Oh god, this is awful. My son was daytime nappy trained at 20 months. My great niece didn’t toilet train her son til a couple of months before he started school. My daughter was around 2.5. I think good quality disposables are making today’s parents lazy.

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  • This is nuts. My daughter was about 2 – 2.5 years old when toilet trained.

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  • I started toilet training my son at 2 and I’m starting my daughter now at 2. I hate changing nappies so I’d much rather them be out of them!

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  • If there is a developmental reason for the delay I Understand but not when the parents are too lazy

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  • Yes, my youngest is in a support class and is not fully toilet trained. She has down syndrome and I’ve have been bussy toilet training since she was 1,5yrs old.

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  • That’s utterly ridiculous! Unless the child has actually learning difficulties there is no excuse for them not being toilet trained by the time they start school. That is just neglect and laziness on the part of the parents!


    • I don’t think we can just make our assumptions. I don’t think it’s unusual for kindy kids to have here and there an accident. Wearing nappies is of course a different thing, but there can be many reasons why a child is not able to develop toilet training skills yet.

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  • No way!!! My son had to be toilet-trained to start 3 year old kinder. This is ridiculous. There should be a ruling on toilet training before you can start school. The poor kids that are still wearing nappies. So sad.

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  • I think if it is a few kids it’s not an issue – there will always be some children with developmental delays or disorders or something else going on. I think it would be a sign of bigger issues if there is a big cohort of children that are significantly delayed with milestones including toileting. I guess the article doesn’t give us enough information to have a clear picture on what the issue is/was.

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  • Wow, some of the comments are awful here! Blaming the parents for being lazy is a judgment on people you don’t even know!
    The children being spoken about in the article sound like they may have developmental delays or disabilities, this is of course a guess on my behalf.
    Im an education assistant in schools and I have seen one child come to kindy still in pull-ups. This child was also being treated for leukaemia at the time and had been for a while, so he had bigger problems and hurdles to defeat, and toilet training right then was going to be too much.
    My own oldest was only just toilet trained about a month before she was due to start kindy. Not for lack of trying on both my and her behalf. She had had major toileting problems from when she was a very young baby and as a result having to go to the toilet was a traumatic thing for her.

    So before parents go jumping to conclusions, please think about the fact that not all parents are just being lazy or not trying. And not all children are ready at the same time, and some are facing big things in their life and this makes them unable to toilet train by an age that others might expect or even demand that it have been done by.

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  • As a teacher I can tell you this is becoming more common in Australia.
    There are many children who start school and due to a number of reasons they have not been toilet trained, typically this is not for the lack of parents trying. This is because they have global delay, or a diagnosed disability. This is a great thing to have inclusion and teach fellow students kindness and acceptance (not like some of comments I’ve read in this post.)

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  • That is really sad that the parents have not taken the time to train these kids, I feel so sorry for them. My son was out of day nappies by 3, I think it is possible to do it sooner too especially while at home.

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  • If they are still in nappies then I don’t think they are old enough to go to school. If they have to employ someone just to change nappies, then those parents should be paying the wages. That might make them do something

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  • I can”t believe these kids aren’t toilet trained yet. Are the parents drunk, lazy or retarded? Maybe a mix of all 3. It’s not just that but basic skills like holding cutlery and pencils. What did the parents do all these years whilst they weren’t making sure their children reached milestones and learnt how to feed themselves etc. My mind boggles at the thought.

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  • Surprised by this article and the issue.

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  • God toilet training gives me anxiety but. Something that must be learnt before school

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