Free sanitary products are to be made available to all schools and colleges in England this week, as the Department for Education launches its fully funded scheme. The new scheme will give pupils easy access to free sanitary products at school or college, helping to tackle the problem of period poverty, break down stigmas and ensure no girl’s education is disrupted by their period.
This follows the Government’s commitment last year to fully fund sanitary products for all state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. It also forms part of the Department’s ambition to improve provision of products for young people, helping to support campaigns to break the stigma around periods and raise awareness of menstruation.
The Department for Education is introducing compulsory Relationships Education for primary pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary pupils from September 2020. Also, from September 2020 it will be compulsory for all schools to teach Health Education, including menstrual wellbeing.
The Government has also introduced the £15 million annual Tampon Tax Fund to support women’s charities, and has made a commitment to end period poverty globally by 2030.
Children and Families Minister Michelle Donelan said: “Periods are a normal part of everyday life and we do not want young people missing out on lessons because of them. We know that it is not easy for everyone to access period products where and when they need them.
“This scheme will deal with those problems so young people can go about their daily lives without getting caught out if they have come on their period unexpectedly, forgotten to bring products with them or if they can’t afford the products they need.”