Potty training expert insists it’s ‘not acceptable’ to send five-year-olds to school in nappies


A potty training expert claimed it’s ‘unacceptable’ for parents to send their five-year-old children to school in nappies during a discussion on This Morning.

Amanda Jenner joined hosts John Barrowman and Rochelle Humes today after it was reported a school in Walsall, West Midlands, has recruited a professional nappy changer because so many pupils between the ages of five and eight haven’t been potty trained.

Teachers claimed that many pupils also lack basic skills such as being able to hold a pen, wash their hands and faces properly and turning pages of books.

Many complained they are having to assist in training youngsters to go to the toilet as they arrive at school still wearing nappies. 

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Potty training expert Amanda Jenner claimed it's 'unacceptable' for parents to send their five-year-old children to school in nappies during a discussion on This Morning today

Potty training expert Amanda Jenner claimed it’s ‘unacceptable’ for parents to send their five-year-old children to school in nappies during a discussion on This Morning today

Rochelle admitted that potty training is ‘one of the biggest stresses as a parent’, but said she thought not having mastered it by the time a child starts school seems ‘particularly late’. 

When John asked Amanda whether she thought it was down to lazy parenting or a lazy child, she said: ‘It depends on the circumstances, but as a parent, it is our responsibility to get them ready for school. 

‘Potty training is a big milestone like you said. It is tricky. Trying to get them to get out of nappies is hard. But five? It’s not acceptable.

‘We can’t send our children to school in nappies, it’s not fair on that child. 

Host Rochelle Humes admitted that potty training is 'one of the biggest stresses as a parent', but said she thought not having mastered it by the time a child starts school seems 'particularly late'

Host Rochelle Humes admitted that potty training is ‘one of the biggest stresses as a parent’, but said she thought not having mastered it by the time a child starts school seems ‘particularly late’

Many This Morning viewers were outraged at the idea that children would go to school in nappies, with many branding parents 'lazy'

Many This Morning viewers were outraged at the idea that children would go to school in nappies, with many branding parents ‘lazy’

‘They’re getting bullied, they’re getting pulled out of classes to change their soiled nappies. It’s not correct.’

This Morning viewers overwhelmingly agreed, with many voicing their opinions on Twitter. 

One wrote: ‘Medical issues aside, there is not one reason why a child that’s starting school should not be able to go to the toilet by themselves. Not a f****** one. #ThisMorning.’

Another commented: ‘If a child is not potty trained, they should not be allowed to start school until they are (unless there are health issues) and they have an EHCP (education, health and care plan).’

When John Barrowman asked Amanda whether she thought it was down to lazy parenting or a lazy child, she said: 'It depends on the circumstances, but as a parent, it is our responsibility to get them ready for school'

When John Barrowman asked Amanda whether she thought it was down to lazy parenting or a lazy child, she said: ‘It depends on the circumstances, but as a parent, it is our responsibility to get them ready for school’

Amanda suggested that nurseries could provide greater assistance to working parents, but insisted the responsibility still lies with them. 

She also assured parents not to worry about reaching the milestone, but to ‘do their research’ before they begin potty training.

‘It’s really important,’ Amanda said. ‘There’s free research, you can Google. Be ready as a parent first. Spot the signs.’

She outlined the most commons signals that children are ready to start potty training as them pulling on their nappy or ‘stopping in their tracks’ when they need the toilet.

A number of viewers took to Twitter to express their views on the topic, with most agreeing with Amanda that school age is too late to still be in nappies

A number of viewers took to Twitter to express their views on the topic, with most agreeing with Amanda that school age is too late to still be in nappies

‘You can see when they’re hiding or going behind the sofas,’ Amanda explained.

‘This is the time you need to ask them. You’re recognising their bodily functions.

Councillor slams parents for failing to toilet train their children… 

Chris Towe, Walsall Council’s portfolio holder for education, claims many youngsters attending an unnamed school in his area are ‘three years behind’ where they should be.

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

He said 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.

Towe has introduced a letter to be sent to parents which provides advice on what they can do or where they can get help to address this issue.

‘This is a first step to try to engage with parents so they understand their responsibilities,’ he said.  

‘Using simple language is really important. Don’t ask, “Are you doing a tinkle?” Just say “wee” and “poo”.’

Amanda pointed out that there isn’t an ‘official age’ that children should move from a nappy to a potty, and that it’s best to wait for the signs they may be ready.

She added that you should create the ‘right environment’ to encourage potty use – not forcing the issue when they start school or move homes.

Viewers had mixed views on the topic and were vocal on Twitter. While many agreed that it takes children up to four or five years to potty train, others claimed kids shouldn’t be allowed to go to school until they are. 

One raged: ‘Five year olds who are not potty trained? Lazy parents lazy kids! Take them to the park on a lead and let them p*** and s*** there. Filthy animals!’ 

Another tweeted: ‘I work in a school and about 50 per cent of our nursery children come in with nappies! By the end of the year, they aren’t in nappies but it’s unacceptable to have children come into a school setting with a nappy! A waste of time/resources for staff to change nappies!’ 

Many viewers were sympathetic towards the teachers who have deal with un-potty-trained children.

Several teachers got involved in the debate, claiming they have had to change children's nappies even though it wasn't their 'job'

Several teachers got involved in the debate, claiming they have had to change children’s nappies even though it wasn’t their ‘job’

One tweeted: ‘This is a problem in more nurseries due to schools allowing parents to bring pupils who are not toilet trained. Schools should ensure their policies do not allow children who are not trained. We are educators not babysitters.’

Another added: ‘I really think that parents who have children who are aged between five and eight years old who are not put more effort in and help raise their children without depending on a stranger / teacher to do so.’

Some were more sympathetic towards parents, with many suggesting some may be in need of extra help if their child has learning difficulties or are generally struggling.



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