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It’s up to you whether you tell your teachers about your bowel or bladder problem. If you do decide to tell them, they should be able to give you the support you need to manage your problem at school. But telling them about a personal issue might seem scary.

If you don’t want to tell your teacher yourself, ask your parent or carer to contact the school. Your doctor or nurse may also be able to send a letter to your school with information about your condition and what support the school should give you.

Here are some thoughts from other young people about telling their teachers:

My dad helped me to tell them...
My dad told the office and the office had a meeting I think just to tell everyone. Now the teachers let me go to the toilet when I need to go. They let me go in lessons, so it’s good. (Ella, age 16)

I don’t want them to know...
I don’t really want them to know because if they were teaching me in lessons, it would just feel weird knowing that they know. (Tom, age 15)

The school made sure all the teachers let me use the toilet...
The Head of Studies emailed all the teachers to say, ‘If he ever needs to go to the toilet, just let him’. So whenever I need to go to the toilet they let me go. Before I told them, I was embarrassed to say that I needed to go to the toilet two or three times during the lesson.  (Jayden, age 15)

What if my teacher won’t let me go to the loo?

Even when they know about your condition, some teachers can be strict about letting you use the toilet during lessons. You should always be allowed to use the toilet when you need to. It is not OK for your teacher to stop you.

Here are some tips if this happens to you:

  • Ask your parent or carer to contact your school. Your head teacher or another senior member of staff can remind all your teachers to let you go to the loo during lessons.

  • Ask your doctor or nurse to write a letter for your teachers explaining that you have a bowel or bladder problem and saying that you should be allowed to use the toilet whenever you need to.

  • Find out if your school has access cards or medical cards. These cards allow you to leave lessons when you need to without needing to explain why.

For more information about your school's responsibility to support you, look at ERIC's Right to Go campaign and our Help at school section.