MIXED toilets for boys and girls are being considered for a new social and dining area at Musselburgh Grammar School.

The plan is part of a project, launched in 2018, to redevelop social and dining spaces to take account of the increasing school roll.

An external agency, Architecture + Design Scotland, has consulted with pupils on their priorities for the refurbishment.

Students were keen that the lack of social space and conditions of the toilets were addressed.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said that consultation has been at the heart of the project since the start, with “extensive discussions” at each stage with both the parent and pupil councils.

This has included discussion on the redevelopment and reconfiguration of the space, range of furniture in the social space, and the specification of the toilets.

She said that the size of the dining and social area would be almost doubled following the refurbishment.

The revamped space will benefit from a new ceiling, lighting, decoration and flooring. Large screens and improved wi-fi will be installed, along with new furniture creating a “versatile space” for dining, socialising and learning, with options of informal teaching or group working.

During the 2018 consultation, pupils wanted to develop the idea of non-designated toilets that were open to all.

Three signage options are being considered:

  • One indicating two fully universal toilet blocks. Additional toilets will have private sinks at the end of each row;
  • Another indicating blocks with a row of male and a row of female toilets, with universal toilets (containing sinks) at the end of each row;
  • A third indicating one universal block and one block containing a row of female and a row of male cubicles, with additional universal toilets (containing sinks) at the end of each row.

The council spokesperson said the cubicles were fully enclosed from floor to ceiling, offering complete privacy.

They followed the design in use in the Dunbar Grammar School extension and Wallyford Primary School, as well as many other schools and public buildings across Scotland.

Following consultation with the parent and pupil council, four separate cubicles have also been designed with wash hand basins within, offering an additional choice of facilities.

The council spokesperson said: “Musselburgh Grammar students are being asked for their views. Signage, if chosen, would be erected at the entrance to the toilets as it would be at any other toilet block.”

The current pupil council is aware that the initial consultation was three years ago and is looking to revisit the designation of toilets to give new pupil cohorts the opportunity to share views.

Pupils are being asked to vote in confidence on the available signage options for the new toilets using a Google form.

The spokesperson said: “The refurbishment programme at Musselburgh Grammar will offer a more modern and spacious social and dining area that will also support learning. New toilet facilities will be part of the space.

“The proposals have been developed following extensive consultation with the parent and pupil councils and we continue to work closely with both groups.

“All cubicles within the two toilet blocks are floor to ceiling and private. When the doors are closed, it looks like a wall. There is a universal sink. At the end of each block there are additional toilets which contain private sinks. There are additional toilet options throughout the school.

“We already have examples of similar set-ups within some other school buildings and there are examples of this design in schools across Scotland. When the consultation has concluded, an equalities impact assessment will be completed.

“We are committed to the principles of equality and inclusion in line with the Equalities Act 2010.”

Gaynor Allen and Andrew Horrell, co-chairs of the parent council, said: “The parent council is delighted that the proposed refurbishment is due to take place soon – it gives our young people far more social space and really modernises the ground floor of the school. The Pupil Voice team, working with representatives of East Lothian Council, plan to conduct a survey of pupils to determine the operational arrangements for the toilet facilities. The parent council has asked for this survey to be extended to parents.

“The refurbishment and new toilet block have been discussed at length at parent council meetings and most parent council members are happy to go along with the wishes of our young people.

“East Lothian Council oversee the statutory and legal requirements for these developments.”