Providers of specialist healthcare equipment, services, and Changing Places toilets

Understanding the Importance of Accessible Hygiene Rooms & Requirements in the DfE Output Specification

27th April 2024

Accessible hygiene rooms are a critical part of making education accessible for all. As schools strive to create inclusive environments, the Department for Education (DfE) plays a pivotal role in guiding the construction and design of school facilities.

Among its technical annexes, Technical Annexe 2A dated November 2022 outlines essential requirements, with particular attention to accessible hygiene rooms—a fundamental aspect often overlooked in educational infrastructure planning. 

What Are Accessible Hygiene Rooms?

Accessible hygiene rooms serve as crucial spaces within schools, catering to students with diverse needs. This includes those with physical disabilities, medical conditions, or sensory sensitivities. Recognising this, the DfE Output Specification outlines comprehensive guidelines to ensure these rooms are not only functional but also conducive to promoting inclusivity and well-being. 

One of the primary requirements highlighted in Annexe 2A pertains to accessibility. The specification mandates that accessible hygiene rooms must be easily accessible, preferably located on the ground floor, and equipped with appropriate entrances to facilitate smooth entry for students with mobility aids or assistance.  

Moreover, ample space within the room is emphasised to accommodate wheelchair users and provide flexibility for caregivers or support personnel. In Primary Schools this is an area of 3m x 3m, a total of 9m2, and in Secondary Schools 4m x 3m giving a floor area of 12m2. 

In addition to accessibility, accessible hygiene rooms must adhere to stringent standards of hygiene and cleanliness. The DfE outlines specifications for flooring, surfaces, and fixtures to ensure ease of cleaning and maintenance, minimising the risk of infection and promoting a safe environment for students with compromised immune systems. 

Furthermore, the technical annexe underscores the importance of sensory considerations. Lighting, acoustics, and ventilation are meticulously addressed to create a comfortable and non-threatening environment, particularly for students with sensory sensitivities or conditions such as autism spectrum disorder. 

Required Equipment

Beyond physical infrastructure, the DfE Output Specification also emphasises the need for appropriate equipment and facilities within accessible hygiene rooms. Based on the Changing Places Specification, the Annexe covers the requirements for the following,

  • H frame system hoist system (ceiling mounted or wall mounted) 
  • Height adjustable changing couch 
  • Height adjustable basin 
  • Full Height mirror 
  • Drop down grab rails 
  • 600mm straight grabrails 
  • WC 
  • Shower (Secondary Schools only) 
  • Height adjustable shower seat (Secondary Schools only)

In conclusion, the DfE Output Specification’s technical annexe A underscores the significance of accessible hygiene rooms in promoting inclusivity and accessibility within educational settings. By adhering to these guidelines, educational institutions can create environments that prioritise the well-being and dignity of all students, fostering a culture of equality and support. 

How to Get Started with Accessible Hygiene Rooms

To assist teaching professionals, OTs, Architects and others, Multicare has produced a comprehensive guide to the accessible hygiene room requirements and their practical implementation. 

To download your free digital copy of this guide, simply fill in the form below, or contact us for a hard copy.


Download our Student Hygiene Rooms Guide

Please complete the form to download our Hygiene guide


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