IN 2008, Ofsted inspectors told St Swithun’s School in Kennington to improve its physical environment to help pupils, and lots of work has taken place to smarten the school up.

But one vital block has been beyond help.

With the school losing much of its capital funding for small building projects, work to rebuild and replace the pupils’ toilets has been delayed for another three years.

But if St Swithun’s wins the School Build SOS competition, children will at last have somewhere pleasant to use.

School business manager Claire Serle said: “Over the past three years the school and its wider community have been striving to improve the very tired, dated and uninspiring learning environment at St Swithun’s.

“We have had tremendous support from the PTA and other community groups in helping us to achieve our aims and aspirations for the school.

“The children have been central in driving the priorities for improvements at the school and the refurbishment of the school toilets has been predominantly at the top of their wish list for a long time.”

She added: “The inside of the school has really changed, and it is a nice place to come into now. It was a bit drab and run down.

“Obviously, when you have a choice between improving the toilets or a classroom, you choose the classroom, but after all the work we have done, the work in the toilets was planned for next financial year.

“Then we found out we had lost most of our capital funding.

“It has been devastating.

“We are raising funds, but we know we will not be able to get the money to do anything until three years’ time. It is just really sad.

“I can’t walk through the school without a child asking when we are getting our toilets improved.”

Pupil Isaac Pullen, 10, said: “When I have to go in there, I have to hop across the floor because there is wee all over the floor and the sinks flood.

“The caretaker does his best to fix it, but the toilets are just horrible.

“We have all wanted them done up for ages.”

To support the school’s bid for the prize, send your vouchers to St Swithun’s School, Grundy Crescent, Kennington, OX1 5PS.