Guidance of Intimate Care and Toileting

Guidance: intimate care and


ELT Owner/Approver

Jane Millward, National Director of Education

Key Contact/author

Joanne Baker, Early Years Foundation Stage System Lead, South West

Date Approved

2 April 2017

Review Date

2 April 2019

Linked policy

E-ACT Safeguarding Policy and Procedure



E-ACT Guidance: Intimate Care and Toileting

If you have question regarding intimate care and toileting, please contact your academy early years lead in the first instance. 


1.     Aim of this guidance

2.     Principles of intimate care

3.     Toileting and Foundation Stage Profile

4.     Parental responsibility

5.     Children with a Special Educational and/or diagnosed medical need

6.     Assisting a child to change his / her clothes

7.     Safeguarding in intimate care


1.         Aim of this guidance

1.1 The pastoral care of our children is central to the aims and ethos of E-ACT and we are committed to developing positive and caring attitudes in our children. 

1.2 We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We are committed to ensuring that all staff responsible for intimate care of children and young people will undertake their duties in a professional manner at all times. 

1.3 E-ACT recognises that some children may start school not fully toilet trained. The aim of this document is to give guidance to Academy staff to ensure that appropriate provision is made for such children. This guidance document also aims to clarify our position on toileting needs in children who have no SEN needs and who soil regularly within the school day. 

1.4 Intimate care is defined as care tasks of an intimate nature, associated with bodily functions, body products and personal hygiene which demand direct or indirect contact with or exposure of the genitals. Examples include care associated with continence and menstrual management as well as more ordinary tasks such as help with washing or showering. Most children and young people will be able to carry out intimate care for themselves, but some will be unable to do so.

1.5        Intimate care is any care which involves one of the following:

a)     Assisting a child to change his/her clothes

b)     Changing or washing a child who has soiled him/ herself

c)     Assisting with toileting issues

d)     Supervising a child involved in any of the above activities.

1.6 Staff will work in close partnership with parents and carers to share information and provide continuity of care. 

2.          Principles of intimate care 

2.1 The following are the fundamental principles of intimate care upon which our guidance is based:

Ø  Every child has the right to be safe

Ø  Every child has the right to personal privacy

Ø  Every child has the right to be value as an individual

Ø  Every child has the right to be treated with dignity and respect

Ø  All children have the right to be involved and consulted in their own intimate care to the best of their abilities

Ø  All children have the right to express their views on their own intimate care and have their views taken into account

Ø  Every child has the right to have levels of intimate care that are appropriate and consistent

3.          Toileting and Foundation Stage Profile 

3.1 Curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage is clear that the role of the adult involves supporting the child’s whole development, particularly their Personal, Social and Emotional development. One of the Early Learning Goals for children to achieve is to “dress and undress independently and manage their own personal hygiene.”  

4.          Parental responsibility

4.1 Prior to starting school prospective parents / carers should be reminded of the schools expectation that pupils should be toilet trained before they start school. It will also include sharing of this guidance during school home visits as well as during parents’ induction meetings in school. If a child is not fully toilet trained before starting school, the parents / carers must inform the school. A meeting will then be arranged prior to starting school. The child’s needs will be discussed and reasons for the child not being fully toilet trained will be recorded. 

4.2 Parents of children who have regular toileting accidents will be asked to provide spare clothing and to complete and sign a permission for intimate care form (appendix 1).

4.3 It is essential that parents / carers recognise they are responsible for any training / changing routines for their child. School is not responsible for toilet training a child.

5.          Children with a Special Educational and/or diagnosed medical need

5.1 There is an expectation that medical documentation will be supplied by parents / carers in order for the school to provide assistance with intimate care. 

5.2 Where the child requires intimate care, staff will remove clothing, clean skin (this may include bottom, genital area, legs and feet), re-dress the child in their own clothes

and seal soiled clothes in a plastic bag to return home. Parents will then be informed at the end of the day. 

5.3        Parents must provide a change of clothing.


6.          Assisting a child to change his / her clothes

6.1 On occasions an individual child may require some assistance with changing if, for example, they get wet outside or has vomit on their clothes etc.

6.2 Staff will always encourage children to attempt undressing and dressing unaided. However, if assistance is required this will be given. We will always give the child an opportunity to change in private, unless the child is in such distress that it is not possible to do so. If staff are concerned in any way parents will be sent for and asked to assist their child. 

6.3 Any adult should inform the teacher when they are going to change a child. Where there is no need for intimate care, there is no requirement that two adults are present and staff will need to make their own judgement based on their knowledge of the child and family. 

7.          Changing a child who has soiled themselves

7.1 Our Academies do not have the staffing levels to accommodate staff regularly leaving class to attend to an individual's hygiene. If a child soils themselves in school a professional judgement has to be made as to whether it is appropriate to change the child in school, or request the parent / carer to collect the child for changing. In either circumstances the child's needs are paramount and they should be comforted and reassured throughout. 

7.2 Staff are not permitted to change a child alone if they need intimate care such as cleaning bottom or genital area. This ensures we safeguard staff and comply with the E-ACT Safeguarding Policy.  The following guidelines outline our procedure but we will also seek to make age-appropriate responses.  Procedure for changing a child who has soiled themselves

1.     The child will be given the opportunity to change themselves in private and carry out this process themselves. School will have a supply of wipes, clean underwear and spare uniform for this purpose. 

2.     If a child is not able to complete this task unaided, school staff will attempt to contact the emergency contact to inform them of the situation. 

3.     If the emergency contact is able to come to school within an appropriate time frame, the child will be accompanied and supported by a member of staff until they arrive. This avoids any further distress and preserves dignity.

4.     If the emergency contact cannot attend, school will seek verbal permission for staff to change the child. If none of the contacts can be reached the Head Teacher is to be consulted and the decision taken on the case of locoparentis and our duty of care to meet the needs to the child.

Basic hygiene rules

5.     Always wear protective disposable gloves

6.     Seal any soiled clothing in a plastic bag for return to parents.


8.          Safeguarding in intimate care

8.1 Staff should encourage each child to do as much for themselves as they can. This may mean, for example, giving the child responsibility for washing themselves. Individual intimate care plans should be drawn up for particular children as appropriate to suit the circumstances of the child. These plans include a full risk assessment to address issues such as moving and handling, personal safety of the child and the staff and health.

8.2 Parents/staff should be involved with their child's intimate care arrangements on a regular basis; a clear account of the agreed arrangements will be recorded on the child's care plan. The needs and wishes of children and parents should be carefully considered alongside any possible constraints; e.g. staffing and equal opportunities legislation.

8.3 Each child/young person should have an assigned member of staff to act as an advocate to whom they will be able to communicate any issues or concerns that they may have about the quality of care they receive.

8.4 If a member of staff has any concerns about physical changes in a child's presentation, e.g. marks, bruises, soreness etc, or if a child makes an allegation against a member of staff this must be reported immediately in line with the Safeguarding Policy.

Appendix 1


Parental permission for intimate care




Name of child: ____________________

Class: ______________


I give permission for ____________________________ (child’s name) to be changed and cleaned if they wet or soil themselves whilst at school. 

I understand that staff are not responsible for toilet-training but that they will endeavour to encourage my child to be independent in order to support toilet-training at home.  

I understand that I will be informed discretely should the occasion arise. 


Signed: _____________________ 

Date: ____________________

Relationship to child:  __________________