The law regarding drinking water for pupils merely states “A school
shall have a wholesome supply of water for domestic purposes including
a supply of drinking water.” (The Education (School Premises) Regulations
Adults enjoy specific requirements for adequate, readily accessible, clearly
labelled and appropriately sited drinking water supplies (with suitable
cups or other drinking vessels) in the workplace, which includes teachers
in schools (The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992).
The related Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare, Approved Code of Practice
1993, also states that drinking water should not be sited in the toilets.
For those pupils in schools where there is a lack of recognition (or a
refusal) of the need to provide adequate provision of drinking water,
mandatory minimum regulations for drinking water provision are needed
that at least match those that already exist for adults. If equivalent
standards that exist for adults in the workplace were applied to pupils’
drinking provision, significant improvements would result.
Regulations should be backed up by formal inspection and enforcement to
ensure equal access to and provision of drinking water for all pupils
in all schools.
Government Regulations, Guidelines and Resources
While we have not yet achieved a change in the Education (School Premises)
Regulations, there are now numerous government standards, guidelines and
resources that require or encourage schools to provide free, fresh drinking
water throughout the school day. These include: