A survey from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that only a third of nursery and primary school support staff say their school has a written policy for dealing with pupils’ wetting or soiling accidents.

Almost nine in 10 respondents (88%) reported they have never received training in dealing with childhood continence issues. This is despite the vast majority (81%) reporting that their school expects support staff to deal with children who have wet or soiled themselves.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said:"It is worrying that such a high number of support staff have received no training in dealing with such issues, yet they are expected to deal with pupils, and even though it is not formally within their job description.

"Schools need to give staff clear guidance on how to deal with toileting accidents so they know what they are allowed to do and who should be dealing with an incident. It is also important that education staff feel they have support from their school nurse or head, and that they know where to obtain guidance should they need it.”

This survey follows a piece of joint research that the ATL and ERIC conducted in 2011. The results highlighted that 62% of primary school staff and 71% per cent of those working specifically with three to five year olds had noticed an increase in the number of children wetting or soiling themselves during the school day over the past five years.

ERIC’s new Right to Go campaign aims to ensure that children receive appropriate support for continence problems or toileting issues in early years and school settings.

The campaign resources can help schools put in place policies and procedures that support children’s health needs and also empower school staff to deal with wetting and soiling incidents.