Parents have demanded answers after claiming that their children are experiencing difficulties easily accessing the toilets at a Renfrewshire high school.

Mums at Linwood High expressed concern that facilities are being locked and youngsters need to go on a hunt for a teacher with a key.

Councillor David McGonigle described the reports of pupils being unable to easily access toilets within the school as "deeply alarming."

Renfrewshire Council, however, has hit back at the claims and said no toilets are locked at the school and they are available for use at all times of the school day.

Parent Lisa McMurtrie told the Gazette: It’s been an ongoing issue for a long time.

“I’ve advised my son to walk out of class and come home to use the toilet.

“I brought it up in parents’ evening and they said that the kids can use the toilets at break.

“I’m not sure how many kids and how many toilets are expected to be used at the morning break and lunch break. I should imagine it’s mayhem. I don’t know why each class can’t have a key.

“My son comes home at lunch usually to use the toilet as he says sometimes at breaks the toilets aren’t unlocked and there are queues for the disabled ones.”

Another mum Laura Surgenor claimed that the girls' toilets have been opened recently but the boys' toilet being shut and long queues for the disabled toilet, when open, are causing boys to use a corner by local shops to relieve themselves.

"It's not hygienic, but it's because they can't even go in the school like you would expect," she added.

She said her son, who has a physical disability, has been forced to come home after being told to find one of two teachers with a key for the disabled toilet.

The 42-year-old told the Gazette: “The disabled toilets are right next to the reception and they said ‘well, you have to go and find either your pastoral teacher or the head’.

“My son had to come home because he couldn't find the two teachers and he needed to go.

"He was too desperate to continue looking and the school phoned when he got home.

“He doesn’t have the best balance and I’m terrified he falls on the way home if he’s rushing.

“It’s a safety issue as other parents have said they have told their kids to go home too.

"If you've got an entire school of boys just wanting to go to the toilet and waiting in the queue and then you've got kids going home, it's a recipe for disaster.”

Laura stated that her son was pulled to the side (last week) and told the toilet situation would be sorted soon.

"From what I can gather (he) was told "the middle toilet is always open". I'm a bit confused on that, but I think it meant the disabled toilet but my son said it was locked when he went (the next day)," she added.

Councillor David McGonigle said that easily accessing the toilets “should be a given for young people" during the school day, rather than having to go on wild goose chases for a key.

"Senior management at Linwood High must urgently explain why this decision has been taken,” added the councillor who represents Houston, Crosslee and Linwood.

Issues over being able to easily access school toilets have, however, not just been raised by parents in relation to Linwood High.

The Gazette:

Kathleen Smith, who has two children at St Benedict’s High which is also in Linwood, said: “They lock them on and off when suits, so pupils are left unaware.

“Young girls need access to them if they are going through that stage of womanhood plus others could have kidney problems etc.

“At the end of the day if you can't control your school then there are serious questions to be asked.”

Renfrewshire Council also said that no toilets are locked at St Benedict’s and they are available for use at all times of the school day.

In response to the claims about both schools, a spokesperson for the local authority said that “all pupils are able to access toilets, which are available in various locations across the school building.

"At times, schools may put in place local arrangements as required having consulted with pupils and their parent council,” they added.