Schoolgirls and parents have raised welfare concerns after a school opted to make "almost all" of its toilets gender-neutral.

They are calling on Sprowston Community Academy to bring back more single-sex blocks, as they say many girls are not comfortable using the same facilities as boys.

Some parents have even said their daughters are not going to the toilet at all at school, because there are not enough girls' facilities and they do not want to use the gender-neutral ones.

An online petition requesting the school bring back male and female toilets to ensure the majority of sites are single-sex has been signed by around 1,000 people.

Emily Boddy, its founder, wrote: "Gender-neutral toilets are a requisite, but should not be the majority."

Lucy Fitt's daughter, Jessica, 12, started at Sprowston in September.

"Jessica often comes home bursting because she hasn't wanted to go during the day," she said.

"It is a really delicate time for girls when they are starting to become women.

"This is making things more difficult for them because they don't have the privacy they need or the space they need to chat about what they are going through."

Eastern Daily Press: Don Evans, CEO of the Broad Horisons Education TrustDon Evans, CEO of the Broad Horisons Education Trust (Image: Boudica Schools Trust)

She said: "I agree there should be a gender-neutral option but it seems to me like they have got it the wrong way around.

"The majority are suffering because the minority is being prioritised."

The petition says "almost all" toilets are now gender-neutral. Ms Fitt said it was "all but one or two".

A spokesman for the school was not able to say how many toilets were still single-sex.

He said the gender-neutral facilities were equipped with ceiling-to-floor doors, to ensure privacy, and were supervised at break times.

Don Evans, CEO of the Broad Horizons Education Trust, which runs the school, said: "We always take the views of our students and their parents and carers seriously.

"While there are no immediate plans to change the current arrangements, we will continue to monitor and review the use of the toilet areas."