Free sanitary products will be available in all schools and colleges in England


Free sanitary products will be available in all schools and colleges in England so that girls won’t be forced to miss lessons because they are on their period

  • Department of Education hopes change will break stigma around menstruation
  • Schools and colleges be able to order a range of sanitary products for students
  • Move will mean no schoolgirl should be forced to miss lessons due to her period

Free sanitary products will be available to all schools and colleges in England from next week as part of a drive to stamp out ‘period poverty’.

The move will mean that no schoolgirl should be forced to miss lessons because she is on her period.

The Department for Education also hopes the change will help break down the stigma surrounding menstruation.

Free sanitary products will be available to all schools and colleges in England from next week as part of a drive to stamp out ‘period poverty’ (file image)

Free sanitary products will be available to all schools and colleges in England from next week as part of a drive to stamp out ‘period poverty’ (file image)

Under the scheme, schools and colleges will be able to order a range of sanitary products, including eco-friendly options, so that they are on hand when students need them. Campaigners had been calling for the Government to take action following concerns that girls could miss class during their periods if they are unable to afford sanitary products.

Former chancellor Philip Hammond first announced plans to fund free sanitary products in England’s secondary schools last year. The proposals were later rolled out to include primaries.

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.’

Former chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured) first announced plans to fund free sanitary products in England’s secondary schools last year

Former chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured) first announced plans to fund free sanitary products in England’s secondary schools last year

Research for charity Plan International UK in 2017 found that one in ten young women aged 14 to 21 in the UK said they had been unable to afford sanitary products while 12 per cent had to improvise.

Both the Scottish and Welsh governments have already announced schemes to make free period products available in schools, and in Scotland, in universities as well.

Amika George, founder of the FreePeriods campaign group, said: ‘As a grassroots, student-led movement, Free Periods has been fighting for every single child in this country to be able to go to school without worrying about their next pad or tampon.

Amika George, 20, founder of the FreePeriods campaign group, said: ‘For the first time in history, this scheme will ensure that becomes a reality'

Amika George, 20, founder of the FreePeriods campaign group, said: ‘For the first time in history, this scheme will ensure that becomes a reality’ 

‘For the first time in history, this scheme will ensure that becomes a reality.’

The 20-year-old added: ‘We ask that schools have open conversations with students about what they need and start signing up to the scheme. Free products in schools will ensure that every child can learn and be their very best, without periods holding them back.’

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