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21st century learning environment for all

A half-century old school is being taken into the 21st century in every aspect- including its toilet facilities for pupils.

Highland Council is spending £31m upgrading Lochaber High School to create a ‘truly inspirational’ learning environment; one element of the refurbishment is the creation of a new hygiene room, and revamping of an existing one, to accommodate the more intimate toileting needs of pupils with severe and complex additional support needs.

Centrally located on the ground floor, the equipment in the rooms has been supplied by Clos-o-Mat, and includes the company’s Palma Vita automatic shower/wash and dry toilet.

Looking like- and able to be used as- a conventional WC, the Palma Vita has in-built washing and drying. The functions efficiently and consistently clean the user after toileting, without the need for wiping clean with toilet paper, so pupils who may otherwise need help to toilet have greater independence, dignity and privacy.

Lochaber High School has added drop-down arms to the unit, to ensure pupils of any age can use the WC and be properly supported in the process. The support arms are part of Clos-o-Mat’s range of accessories- paediatric, bariatric and standard- for the Palma Vita that enable precise tailoring to individual needs: some 150,000 permutations are available.

The toilet facilities are only part of the school’s provision for pupils with support needs. It has further included a lift between floors, pupil support base and adaptive kitchen.

“The school facility already had a Clos-o-Mat, and had enjoyed the benefits of the unit,” explained project senior architectural technician Iain Robertson. “When the refurbishment was discussed, this was one item they wished to retain, and we decided to provide another in the new spaces to give a male and female facility without having changeover of units and adaptation kits.”

Added Jim Sutherland, Lochaber High School headteacher, “This stage of the work will really transform the way our school building works and will provide a learning environment that will be truly inspirational.”

Clos-o-Mat is now the country’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions in and out of the home, with a raft of hygiene rooms and similar facilities completed. Uniquely, its expertise extends beyond manufacture and supply, into complete project management, design advice, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance. The company’s website includes 2D and 3D CAD drawings, typical layouts, and white papers on accessible toilet provision in educational establishments and hygiene rooms, all available for free download.

Clos-o-Mat range is visible on our site or on

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