Continence Care

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Purpose of this policy

To support students needing continence care to attend school.

Prerequisite policy


Schools must support students requiring continence care. 

Note: This policy does not cover young children for whom continence care is related to their age and level of development.


Incontinence is the lack of control over bowel or bladder functions and can be caused by:

  • medical conditions such as:
    • gastroenteritis, causing short term incontinence
    • lack of bowel nerve function, causing long term incontinence
    • constipation, causing faecal soiling
    • bladder over-activity, causing day wetting
  • medical intervention, such as a side effect of medication
  • development delay or physical and intellectual disability
  • life experience such as behaviour associated with a history of abuse
  • lack of learning opportunity.

Strategies and actions

The following table outlines a range of strategies and actions that schools can implement to support students with continence care needs.



In general, children should be allowed to go to the toilet when they need to go or when medical need has been identified.

Request advice

Schools should encourage parents/guardians to seek professional advice on causes or management of persistent continence issues in cases where advice has not yet been sought.

Develop a plan

Schools should develop a Health Support Plan which details family and school staff roles and responsibilities, see: Health Support Planning Forms

To inform this plan, schools should request that the student’s medical/health practitioner completes a Personal Care Medical Advice Form – Incontinence (doc - 77.5kb).

Where appropriate, schools can use a Toileting Care and Learning Plan (docx - 44.28kb) to involve students in step-by-step toileting processes to:

  • self-manage toileting tasks, if possible
  • acknowledge learnings that occur.

​Provide equipment

​Schools should provide equipment to support continence care, if required, such as hoists and slings

Related policies

Department resource

  • Hand Hygiene: for Clean Hands: Foundation-Grade 2 curriculum resource and support materials for primary schools 

Other resources