Personal and Intimate Care Policy



Here at St Joseph’s, where every aspect of school life is built upon Gospel Values, we seek to create an atmosphere supported through prayer and worship, whereby everyone who has an interest in our community can feel valued and believe their happiness is the pursuit of all, as we grow closer to Jesus Christ.

Through a curriculum that supports the holistic development of each child by encouraging them to reach their full potential, we will maintain a high quality education, within the resources available, and seek to develop the necessary partnership links with home and parish, so that all are able to participate as members in the wider community.


This policy and guidelines has been written in response to a need within school and is closely linked and should be read in conjunction with our policies on:

Safeguarding/Child Protection

Health and Safety

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)



At St. Joseph’s RC Primary School and Nursery, we are committed to ensuring that all staff responsible for the intimate care of children will undertake their duties in a professional manner at all times. Unless children have special educational needs, we will normally expect that parents/carers prepare their children for school by showing them how to dress and undress independently and manage their own personal hygiene. Every effort should be made to encourage independence before children arrive at school. We do, however, recognise that delayed continence of Foundation Stage children is not necessarily linked with learning difficulties and that children of this age are likely to be at various levels of maturity with their continence, health and/or personal development.



  • To ensure that children are treated with respect when intimate care is given
  • To ensure that the intimate care of children must never cause worry, distress, humiliation or pain and everything will be done to avoid embarrassment
  • To consider every child’s needs individually, taking full account of their age, special needs disability and gender
  • To ensure that the provision of intimate personal care fully meets the needs of the school’s child protection policy
  • To provide for the needs of children who are incontinent, in line with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 as far as is reasonably practicable
  • To ensure that parents are involved and where urgent or emergency care is given, parents/carers will be contacted at the earliest opportunity


Key Procedures

  • Where the need for personal intimate care is known in advance (particularly with regard to admission of SEN pupils), the members of the staff who provide it will be properly trained to do so and are fully aware of best practice
  • In Early Years, we will give particular attention to planning for the development of independence skills, particularly for children who are highly dependent on adult support for personal care
  • Children will not be excluded from everyday educational activities solely because of a manageable condition
  • Staff will encourage each child to do as much as they can for themselves e.g. giving the child responsibility for washing themselves
  • Where children have identified special needs that require personal and intimate care, individual intimate care plans will be drawn up for children as appropriate to suit the circumstances of the child. A record will be kept of each occasion the child is changed including time and duration.
  • Where a child with special educational needs has on-going intimate care needs, arrangements will be discussed with parents/carers on a regular basis and recorded on the child’s care plan
  • The needs and wishes of children and parents will be taken into account wherever possible within the constraints of staffing and equal opportunities legislation
  • The school’s Child Protection procedures will be adhered to at all times


Staff Guidelines

For children requiring support:

  • The teaching assistant will inform the teacher discretely that they are going to change a child
  • The teaching assistant will explain to the child what they are going to do to help clean them up
  • The adult will take the child to the toilet area in the Foundation Stage or if the child is in an older year to the relevant toilet area, ensuring dignity and privacy are respected.
  • With older children the disabled toilet facilities offer privacy, however, in an emergency the nearest toilet facilities will be used and a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign will be placed on the outer door until changing is complete.
  • The child will normally be asked to stay standing
  • Adults should wear disposable rubber gloves
  • Only essential garments should be lowered or removed
  • Remove soiled nappy/underwear
  • When washing or wiping always do the front to back to prevent infection
  • Replace nappy/underwear (child encouraged to help if able to do so)
  • Encourage child to wash and dry hands
  • Tidy and clean changing area disposing of soiled items
  • Soiled nappies should be double bagged and disposed of hygienically in the nappy bins provided
  • Children who have soiled clothing will be changed into clean clothing following our intimate care procedures. Soiled clothing will be rinsed, double bagged following public health recommendations. Bags will be tied up/closed/sealed and stored out of the reach of children. They will be handed to parents/carers discreetly upon collection of the child
  • Wash own hands
  • The adult will ensure changing areas are clear and visible to other members of staff. For children who are incontinent, the changing bed in the MI room will be used
  • Each child with a care plan has their own bag containing their nappies or ‘pull ups’, spare clothing and changing wipes. Children in Early Years bring spare clothes in the event of an accident. In an emergency, school will provide appropriate temporary clothing, which parents will be expected to was, iron and return.
  • Ordinary pants that have been wet or soiled are rinsed and double bagged for the parent to take home
  • Children access the toilet when they have the need to and are encouraged to be independent


Health and Safety

  • Staff to wear disposable gloves while dealing with an incident
  • Soiled nappies/underwear to be double wrapped and placed in the bins provided
  • Changing area to be cleaned after use
  • Hot water and liquid soap available
  • Hot air dryer or paper towels available for drying hands


Asking parents of a child to come and change a child is likely to be a direct contravention of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and leaving a child in a soiled nappy for any length of time pending the return of the parent is a form of abuse and will be a disciplinary matter. St. Joseph’s RC primary school has a‘duty of care’ towards children’s personal needs.



There are changing and showering facilities located in the MI room, accessible through the nursery. If a child needs assistance to be cleaned in the general toilets a ‘Do not enter’ sign (visually illustrated) should be placed on the toilet door to ensure privacy and dignity are maintained during time taken to change the child.


Child Protection

There is no legal requirement for two adults to be present and such a requirement might be impractical. The normal process of changing a child who has had an accident should not raise child protection concerns, and there are no regulations that indicate that a second member of staff must be available to supervise the changing process to ensure abuse does not take place. However, the adult will ensure changing areas are clear and visible to other members of staff.


If there is a known risk of false allegations by a child then a single practitioner should not undertake changing.  Personal and intimate care of children with special needs and /or disabilities will be undertaken with sensitivity, the need to protect staff and in accordance with the needs and wishes of the child and parent/carer wherever practicable.


Here at St. Joseph’s RC School and Nursery, there is an open culture of challenge. We have an effective whistle blowing policy in place which staff have signed up to. Staff are confident to raise any issues with senior staff should they have any concern about the behaviour or practice of another member of staff.


A student on placement, works experience and visitors will not be responsible for the intimate care of any child in our school/nursery.



If several children wearing nappies enter the foundation stage provision there could be resource implications. The Foundation Stage Leader will consult with the school SENCO to ensure additional resources from the school’s delegated SEN budget are allocated to the Foundation Stage to ensure that the children’s individual needs are met.


What to do if a child becomes distressed during the changing process

Talk to the child through each step and reassure them that they will feel much better when they are clean. If the distress is such that it is difficult to continue then stop the changing process. If this results in a hygiene issue then parents should be contacted to explain the situation and an agreed course of action established. In any event a record must be made of distress, whether or not the changing was completed and parents informed as soon as possible. If there is any concern re child protection issues these should be dealt with in accordance with school policy.


What to do if any marks or redness are seen

If marks or redness are seen then this should be reported to the child’s parents as soon as possible. If there are any child protection concerns these should be dealt with in accordance with school policy.


Partnership Working

Issues around toileting should be discussed at a meeting with the parents/carers prior to admissions into school/nursery. This meeting will also provide an opportunity to involve other agencies as appropriate, such as a Health Visitor or School Nurse.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Governors will review this policy annually.  The governors may, however, review the policy earlier than this if the government introduces new regulations, or if the Governing Body receives recommendations on how the policy might be improved.

Date Policy Reviewed:           16th July 2015

Next Review Date:                 Summer 2016





Appendix 1          

Click to download Information for Parents

Appendix 2 

Click to download Progress Record