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Bottom of the class

School Hygiene Essentials Initiative

The School Hygiene Essentials Initiative is being facilitated by Essity, a leading global hygiene and health company, and aims to improve education and wellbeing outcomes for primary school children by empowering school staff, parents, local authorities and children themselves to drive genuine action and change to improve hygiene levels in primary school toilets.

The catalyst of the campaign is the Bottom of the Class: Are falling hygiene standards failing primary school children? report which indicates a serious and growing problem regarding the hygiene standards within the UK primary school system. From inadequate toilet facilities that are unclean and poorly equipped, to poor hygiene habits of children coming to school unable to wipe their bottom properly or wash their hands correctly.

The School Hygiene Essentials Initiative will bring together the collective expertise and experience of school staff, local authorities and educational bodies to collaboratively find the right solutions that will make the biggest difference to hygiene levels in primary schools.

59% of primary school teachers believe that improving school toilet hygiene would reduce illness amongst children and teachers.

The Problem

The findings of the Bottom of the Class: Are falling hygiene standards failing primary school children? Reports reveal three clear problems:


Teachers, parents and children are concerned about poor levels of hygiene in primary school toilets and the impact this has on health.


Teachers believe children aren’t learning essential hygiene behaviours early enough.


Children are actively avoiding the toilets at school and are adopting unhealthy behaviours in order to do so.

What's the solution?