STAFF at a school were banned from using toilets during GCSE exams to avoid disturbing pupils.

Bosses at Blakewater College, Blackburn, switched off the water supply to them after a fault in the system close to the examination hall was deemed so noisy it would cause a distraction.

Staff were told they must use toilets in the main part of the building to cause minimum disruption to pupils.

Bosses described the move as a ‘sensible measure’ as the fault would not be repaired as the school is due to close under the Build-ing Schools for the Future scheme.

The Shadsworth Road school is set to shut next year and students will be transferred to the new Blackburn Central High School off Haslingden Road.

Blackburn with Darwen Council said that a fault in the toilet system involving the airlock caused a large sound when flushed which would distract pupils.

The ban was lifted after the exam period ended.

Harry Devonport, who is director of education at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “A small number of staff were asked not to use those toilets because of a fault. These toilets are not accessed by the school pupils.

“Staff were offered alternative toilet facilities in the main school building - these are not used by any other staff or pupils and were only a short walk away.

“It would have been deemed a waste of money repairing the fault as the staff who use those facilities will be moving shortly to new premises and the school is due to move to its new site next year.

"This contingency was all part of the school's planning to take sensible measures to avoid exams being disrupted.

“The exams have finished now so staff can continue to use the toilets as normal."