A SCHOOL'S toilets have become the centre of a heated ethical debate.

Inside the new £12 million building at Buxton School, in Terling Close, Leytonstone, is the subject behind an intense debate – unisex toilets.

Executive headteacher Kath Wheeler welcomed the introduction of full-height unisex cubicles for pupils aged 8 and up, while younger children use toilets in or attached to their classrooms.

Ms Wheeler said the toilets have created safe spaces where pupils show respect towards each other and feel respected.

She also noted the toilets meet the Department of Education and Waltham Forest council regulations.

Despite this, many people are voicing their concern with a change.org petition reaching 500 signatures in 24 hours in its call to close the toilets.

Shaila Hussain said unisex toilets would initiate more sexualised behaviour among the children.

She added: “Having the unisex toilets will allow nothing but more mischievous behaviour.”

Hannah Cuthbertson said unisex toilets will just lead to children becoming sexually active even earlier.

She added: “This leads to more sexual assaults and problems, children are too young to understand the implications.”

Firuza Beg said it is absolutely unacceptable to force children to use unisex toilets.

She added: “There's already so much child abuse going on and this will increase the situation even more.

“If anything does happen then the headteacher and other associates will be fully responsible.”

However, many people see this a progressive step in the right direction.

According to Jade Slaughter, unisex toilets will make it much easier for trans and non-binary students.

She said: “I can't see any problems with it.”

Caroline Emma Burns said she is not sure what people are concerned about.

She said: “Everyone should be able to use the toilet in peace whether in unisex or single sex toilets.

“Hopefully the kids will be taught to be respectful of each other, whether in the toilets or not.”

Glynis Ford thinks Brits are just too precious and should take Europe’s lead, where unisex toilets are more common.

Parent Francesca Aprea Cogliandro has a daughter at the school.

She said: “I don't think it is a bad idea.”

Ms Wheeler is inviting parents to take tours of the new facility and reminds those concerned that there are single sex toilets still available.

She added: “No pupil has to use a unisex toilet if they do not want to.”