Showers after PE

(55 Posts)
luciemule Wed 22-Sep-10 11:48:14

Hi,

DD moving up to middle school next year and having read the school brochure, saw it said about having showers after PE.
I can't believe (from my own experience) that they still subject chidlren to the misery of standing naked in a school shower with no curtains.

Can the school make the chidlren have showers after PE? I would have thought not due to child protection issues but not sure. Anyone know and anyone told the school that their child won't be having humiliating, naked showers after PE sad

prh47bridge Wed 22-Sep-10 12:19:40

There are no child protection issues unless an adult is in the showers with them.

The school is acting in loco parentisThat means that while your DD is in their care they have the same rights and responsibilities as you. They would argue that there are health issues involved as the shower gets rid of bacteria which grow when we perspire. It also prevents unpleasant smells which cannot be fully masked with scented powder or deodorants. I don't know if it has been tested in court but I suspect schools are able to make children have showers after PE.

I believe some schools now have individual shower cubicles, so you may want to check what the situation is at this school.

rubyrubyruby Wed 22-Sep-10 12:21:28

Our school brochure says this too but none of mine have ever had to do it.

ShatnersBassoon Wed 22-Sep-10 12:24:27

My (very old-fashioned) school had individual cubicles with curtains twenty years ago, so I'd be surprised if any school has a communal shower today. It wasn't a trauma to shower after PE, but pretty pointless seeing as most people just stood under the water for a second then jumped out.

Don't worry about it too much. Have a look at the shower block and then judge if it will be too humiliating to use.

Butterbur Wed 22-Sep-10 12:25:09

I still remember the misery of communal showers at school. I used to go through in my knickers I was so embarrassed (they were a sort of U shaped tunnel effect you had to run through). Oh the joy when I went to a school reunion and we found those ancient showers were now a games cupboard.

I can't imagine that being a bit niffy is worse. Nor that dangerous bacteria are going to grow on unshowered skin.

psammyad Wed 22-Sep-10 12:34:04

Um... did the brochure specifically say the showers would be 'naked & humiliating' ?

If not, then perhaps they won't be...

Middle school is approx 9-12 isn't it? 9 year olds usually get changed for swimming in a (single sex) communal changing room without being horribly traumatised.

I think P.E. teachers are generally a bit more sensitive to things these days as well, e.g. encouraging unsporty kids to find a fitness activity they enjoy.

It may not be as bad as you remember!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 22-Sep-10 12:44:33

We had communal showers at our school (in past 10 years), and we were told that it was compulsory, but after a couple of weeks no-one used them AFAIK. And even before that the vast majority went in in swimming costumes. Apart from the embarrassment we also had a male PE teacher who (I later found out totally against the rules) used to come in and chivvy us all to get in the shower.

It was only a few years later that he got sent to jail for sex with a minor, so I'm really glad that we all ignored him.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 22-Sep-10 12:45:25

Sorry not saying that it will be anything like that, obviously. Just making the point that it rarely ends up being compulsory in practice.

seeker Wed 22-Sep-10 12:55:01

God, I wish all schools did this. I think it's horrible that they have to put their clothes back on without showering when their are either hot and sweaty or cold wet and muddy.

DancingHippoOnAcid Wed 22-Sep-10 13:03:28

DS age 8 has communal shower after games, compulsory for all - but very understandable given the mud-caked state most get into! grin. He does not seem to be at all bothered.

DDs school do not require the girls to shower after games - I wish they did, they can get a bit rank! shock

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 22-Sep-10 13:10:23

Message withdrawn

luciemule Wed 22-Sep-10 14:46:47

I was extremely emotional about having to shower after PE (more so when I had my period, which I statred at age 11) and it stick in my mind from then on! I can remember having to get undressed and into and out of the shower and then get dried all whilst I had blood running down my legs, without anyone seeing! I was only 11/12 and it was completely humiliating and none of my friends had started their periods but they too hated it. In the end I used to leave my underwear on, wrap a towel around me, then when the teacher wasn't looking, used to stick my lower legs in to make it look like I was wet (even though sometimes the teachers used to check if your shoulders were dry!)

Obviously in an ideal world we would all shower after PE, but surely the kids can wait until they get home a couple of hours later, before having their shower and wearing clean clothes the next day.

DustDustDust Wed 22-Sep-10 17:17:48

There are showers without curtains at my school, but in 6 years I've never seen anyone use them. They definitely shouldn't force the poor children.confused

kingprawntikka Wed 22-Sep-10 17:41:13

There are showers at my children's comprehensive, they have never used them or seen anyone else use them . The school had a complete new build a couple of years ago. The new building also has showers despite the fact they are never used. I can only deduce that providing them is a requirement.

scurryfunge Wed 22-Sep-10 17:47:06

I used to teach PE (hundreds of years ago) and at all the schools I taught at I made showers available to those who wanted one.

In reality, no one showered as it cuts too much into lesson time and the showers were used generally as a storage area.
I got moaned at by senior staff occasionally but could justify it by stating I couldn't force a child into having respect for their bodies but only encourage it.

notcitrus Wed 22-Sep-10 18:18:33

We had showers at school (cubicles but no curtains, I think) but were not allowed to use them after lessons as would cut into lesson time. Only teams playing matches were allowed to shower afterwards - no idea if they did or not!

ramonaquimby Wed 22-Sep-10 18:27:26

I teach at a secondary school and we have curtains and individual cubicles

luciemule Wed 22-Sep-10 18:37:39

Interesting those last few posts. So it seems from the teachers that they don't feel as though they can enforce it. Phew!

complexnumber Wed 22-Sep-10 20:21:17

Our kids are taught PSE, shouldn't they also be encouraged to practice what they are taught?

luciemule Thu 23-Sep-10 11:18:08

Yes - but at the age of 9-13, isn't that one of the most embarassing and emotional times you have? So to be made to shower (when you can quite easily have one in the morning and one at night)in front of all of your mates could potentially be awful for some children.

Your pubic hair starts to grow, you grow breasts and your periods start. No wonder I was traumatised about periods (and still am aged 33) - I reckon it was having to spend my time at school.

I can honestly say, there wasn't a single girl in my year group who flaunted it about in the showers, without a care that anyone would see. We were all pretty upset about the fact that they tried to make us have showers.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 23-Sep-10 13:33:13

Oh i assumed complexnumber meant "practice" as in, not letting anyone else tell them what to do with their bodies, especially not saying yes to stripping off when they are not comfortable.

roisin Sat 25-Sep-10 04:45:13

We had communal showers at my school and I really loved it. I loved getting clean and having endless hot water. (Probably because we had no central heating at home, hot water was limited, and we only had one bathroom - family of 7 people.)

But we also had somewhere we could hang a towel up to dry as well. In most schools now they have to carry everything in their bag and a soggy towel would be pretty grim in there.

ds1 and ds2 never shower at their school: there just isn't time. I presume the facilies are there, but they've never mentioned it. There's no requirement to bring towels as games kit. Sometimes they arrive home quite muddy (yuck), but they shower at home every day anyway and we have two sets of uniform, so that gets washed after PE days as well as the PE kit.

luciemule Sat 25-Sep-10 14:25:53

Exactly Roisin - and I'm sure the majority of kids have a bath/shower most days and most families will have more than one set of uniform and not leave their children covered in mud until the next day.

ragged Sat 25-Sep-10 14:30:32

This is such a British hang up; we showered communally in high school en masse when I was aged 12+, it wasn't a big deal. IME, even adults in Britain won't change and shower in same sex situations -- unless they are on a sports team.

It's so refreshing to go to gyms abroad and everybody lets it all hang out post work out -- and at least they don't leave the gym rank and sweaty!

UnderneathTheStream Sun 26-Sep-10 15:49:52

There are individual shower cubicles at the school I work in - but the only people to use them are any staff who use the school gym before school, or staff who cycle in!
The pupils prefer copious amounts of lynx or similar instead...

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