UK Schools Can Now Supply Free Period Products To Students
Schools around the UK will now be able to order free sanitary products for students.
Staff at primary and secondary schools as well as colleges will be able to choose from different products by supplier phs Group, including sanitary pads, tampons with and without applicators and moon cups - many of which are environmentally friendly.
The new scheme - which is fully funded by the Department for Education - starts today, with products available to order via an online system, over email or by phone.
The breakthrough follows an announcement last year in which the government pledged to pay for sanitary products in state-funded primary and secondary schools as well as colleges across the UK, in a bid to tackle period poverty.
Michelle Donelan, children and families minister, 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."
The news is a huge triumph for Amika George, founder of Free Periods, who has been campaigning for over two years to end period poverty in the UK.
The 19-year-old was even listed by TIME magazine as one of the 25 most influential teenagers in the world.
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We're absolutely thrilled that, from Monday 20th January, every state-funded school and college in England will be able to order free period products for their students. Having access to free period products in school can have a huge impact on a young person's ability to participate in their education, and so to reach their full potential. For some, this new scheme could even mean the difference between attending school or staying at home when they have their period. That's why we have teamed up with the @theredboxprojectuk to urge EVERY school and college in England to sign up to the Government's new scheme. This is an amazing opportunity to achieve greater equality in our education system, but we need EVERY eligible institution to use its allocated funding and make period products freely available to their students as soon as possible. The time has come: join the Period Revolution! #PeriodRevolution #FreePeriods #RedBoxProject
"We have been waiting for this day for a long time!" She 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. For the first time in history, this scheme will ensure that becomes a reality.
"We ask that schools have open conversations with students about what they need and start signing up to the scheme - no child must miss out.
"Free products in schools will ensure that every child can learn and be their very best, without periods holding them back."
With 42 per cent of 14-21-year-olds in the UK revealing they have had to use 'makeshift' sanitary wear, including socks or paper, due to period poverty, this is certainly news to be celebrated.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay