Intimate care: responsibility of school staff

Schools must make reasonable adjustments for pupils who are not yet toilet trained, under the Equality Act 2010. Understand who should change nappies in school, how to work with parents and how to make sure staff are equipped to support these pupils.

Last reviewed on 11 June 2024See updates
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  1. Intimate care counts as a reasonable adjustment
  2. Who should help pupils with intimate care in school?
  3. How to plan intimate care in your school 
  4. How to plan intimate care for a pupil
  5. When to register a safeguarding concern

Intimate care counts as a reasonable adjustment

‘Intimate care’ means doing tasks involving close personal contact that someone can't do independently. This includes changing nappies and helping a pupil use the toilet.

Providing intimate care counts as a reasonable adjustment for pupils who are not toilet trained, not able to use a toilet independently, or need other help with intimate tasks. This is because failing to do so would infringe upon those pupils’ rights to access education due to a disability, under the Equality Act 2010

You can see an example of this on page 20 of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s guidance on reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils.

Who should help pupils with intimate care in school?

Staff providing intimate care must have an enhanced DBS check with barred list information. This is because intimate or personal care counts as regulated activity – even if they only provide intimate care once. This is explained on pages 65

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