Eric and Albany Healthy Schools

The collaboration highlights the importance of pupils' hygiene

Eric and Albany Healthy Schools
Eric and Albany Healthy Schools

In terms of glamour, it's not exactly a rival to the Oscars. But, earlier this month, a primary school in Lincolnshire became the first recipient of the School Toilet Award.

The award, which recognises schools that provide clean toilets that pupils want to use, are the brainchild of the charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence - known as Eric. They are being promoted by a corporate sponsor, Albany Healthy Schools.

According to Jenny Perez, the director of Eric, the state of toilets is a bugbear continually raised by pupils through their school councils. Four out of 10 secondary school pupils think their school toilets are too disgusting to use.

The charity is lobbying for regulations to force schools to have minimum standards for their toilets. In the meantime, it wanted something to encourage good practice.

Albany Healthy Schools, a company that provides lesson plans for hygiene education as well as health products for schools such as anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitisers, approached Eric about the partnership.

The company will promote the awards to nearly 250 school customers, present certificates to winning schools and help with publicity.

"We will encourage schools to work with the local press so that they can promote what they're doing and the toilet awards at the same time," says Adam Speck, hygiene specialist at the company.

Perez hopes that Albany, together with the other corporate sponsor, Armitage Shanks, will persuade schools that action need not be expensive. "It's about a culture change, not brand spanking new toilets," she says.

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