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Monday, 20 December, 1999, 10:48 GMT
Communal showers to be phased out

School sports players will be spared the communal showers School sports players will be spared the communal showers


The cold drizzle of the communal shower after school sports is to be phased out from next year.

The government is to announce guidelines requiring new changing facilities in state schools to have shower cubicles - rather than the shared "run through" showers traditionally used in secondary schools.

The guidelines on building standards in schools, set to be published in the new year, will say that shower cubicles should be introduced to protect pupils' privacy and to respect religious sensitivities towards communal showering.

In particular there have been concerns that shared showers can be in conflict with Islamic rules on nudity.

Already the North Westminster community school in London has scrapped communal showers after complaints that they breached Islamic law.

While the communal shower might owe its origins to Victorian public schools, the independent sector has already moved towards more modern changing facilities.

Eton College has already installed shower cubicles with doors and Rugby is set to install separate showers.

Now shared showers are most commonly used by boys at state secondary schools, a situation which the guidelines will seek to tackle.

The Department for Education's forthcoming circular on building regulations will now require schools to "balance the need for supervision against modern expectations and religious requirements".
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13 Dec 99 |  Education
Schools promised 970m for repairs

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