East Ayrshire Council has hit back against claims that pupils are being 'denied toilet rights' at a school in Cumnock.

Unhappy parents of the pupils attending the Robert Burns Academy claim that toilets are locked during the day, some teachers are unwilling to let pupils leave for the bathroom during the lesson, and that there are not enough toilet facilities for the number of pupils in the school.

But East Ayrshire Council has said there is no policy for stopping pupils from using the toilets mid-lesson.

The local authority also refuted the claim that there were not enough toilets to facilitate the number of pupils.

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Despite this, one parent claimed that pupils were "distressed" at being unable to access toilets during the day.

The parent, who did not wish to be named, said: "My child told me that it happens almost on a daily basis, that some of the toilets are closed and that some teachers aren't too willing to let them leave during the lessons.

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"In all honesty, I don' really see what it's got to do with the teachers, because it's not really affecting them and it could be having damaging health effects to stop someone going to the bathroom.

"Especially if it might be a young girl who needs to go to the toilet for private reasons and things like that.

"It sounds more like a prison with children and young adults being denied a basic human right."

Another parent added: " All toilets have been locked during the school day, apart from those at the Spanish steps in C block which are only open to S5 and S6 pupils at break time.

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"The toilet in C block is reopened during lesson time, two toilets for boys two toilets for girls, for a super school of over 1,000 children.

"All other toilets throughout the school have now been locked and even primary children have been seen very distressed being unable to use the toilets at lunch or break at the dinner hall which is also now locked permanently."

Hitting back at these claims, East Ayrshire Council said that toilets remain available to pupils throughout the day.

A local authority spokesperson said: "East Ayrshire Council can confirm that The Robert Burns Academy does not have a policy of stopping young people from accessing the toilet during the school day.

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"The school policy and classroom code is for young people to make their teacher aware that they need the toilet and that the young person should use the toilet closest to their classroom.

"Toilets within the Barony Campus, which are also used by children and young people from Lochnorris Primary are open at various points during the day including interval and lunchtime, when young people from The Robert Burns Academy have full access.

"They have full access to their own toilets throughout the day.

"The council can also confirm that two blocks of toilets are currently under repair, however there are enough toilets for the school to operate safely and within the accepted parameters."