A school in Britain hired someone just to change diapers for their students because too many of them weren’t toilet trained.
According to BBC, many of the children in Walsall, England, also don’t possess other necessary skills such as dressing themselves or cutlery usage.
The portfolio holder for education for the Walsall council, Chris Towe, was shocked when he spoke to the schools in the town, and he said that the behavior for children at this age was unreasonable.
Walsall infant school employs nappy changer https://t.co/5yxvuIkudQ
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 9, 2019
“We are talking about five-year-olds here and it is not acceptable,” Towe said.
The teachers at the schools have also brought up the subject, and said that the fact the children weren’t prepared by their parents was concerning. There were many things the five- and six-year-olds didn’t know what to do, such as how to hold a pencil and how to communicate properly.
“I was quite shocked really,” Towe said, “if they haven’t got basic skills, how can they be educated?”
According to BBC, Towe said he found the lack of basics skills in children to be a massive issue that needed to be addressed as soon as possible.
“This cannot go on,” Towe told the BBC, “If it doesn’t stop it is going to get even worse.”
“We are talking about five-year-olds here, and it is not acceptable.”
Towe said that throughout the years, parents have been placing less importance on training their children to perform basic life skills.
According to BBC, Towe spoke at a Walsall council meeting, and said, “Clearly, over the years, many parents have not been taking responsibility in making sure their children are ready for school.”
The council decided, following the discovery of the issue, to send letters to the concerning parents to address the problem—parents need to know that children need those basics skills before they start school, and where to get help in case they don’t.
This came after an inspector warned the teachers that children who weren’t toilet-trained needed to be looked after by someone, and this was corroborated by a report (pdf) from the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).
According to Ofsted guidelines, being able to use the toilet is a set standard for children before they start school. The children are also required to recognize their own name, to sit still and listen, and to be able to take off their coats and put on their shoes by themselves.
According to Coughlan, the town has a variety of vulnerable families with a wide range of issues.
“For many parents, school readiness is simply not a priority for them,” said Diane Coughlan, a labour councillor. “So apart from simply sending a letter what other support will they be given?”
The chief inspector at Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, agreed that more and more children are starting school without knowing how to use a toilet, and it’s a huge issue, according to Yahoo Style.
“This is difficult for teachers, disruptive for other children and has a terrible social impact on the children affected,” Spielman said. “This is wrong.”
She went on further to say that only in rare or extreme cases could a parent be excused from being responsible for parenting their kids.
Spielman said that instead of teaching children how to read and write, they were too busy teaching children how to properly go to the washroom and other skills, according to News.com.au.
"Schools cannot take over the role of parents."
“Schools cannot be expected to act as substitute parents or provide a panacea to all societal ills,” said Spielman, according to The Sun. “They have more than enough to focus on.”
According to News.com.au, a recent study suggested that the parents were too busy to teach their children potty training—and these parents didn’t realize the type of strain that the delay in their training put on their children’s bladders and bowels.
The charity ERIC and the National Day Nurseries Association also conducted a survey of early years staff, which revealed that 68 percent of them believed that over the past five years, children have been given toilet training at a later age.