Schools in Southport have been invited to participate in a brand new scheme starting this Monday (20th January) which aims to provide free sanitary products to pupils and students.
Educational settings throughout England have been invited to order a range of sanitary products, including eco-friendly options, so that they are both available and accessible to meet students’ requirements.
This initiative from the Department for Education (DfE) will ensure that no school girl or female student will miss lessons because of periods. Rosamund McNeil, the assistant general secretary of the National Education Union, supports the scheme. She says that more than 137,000 pupils missed school in 2018 because of their period. In response to these absences, from Monday, sanitary products will be readily available and accessible.
The DfE hopes this will additionally springboard awareness and discussion in schools and colleges, breaking the stigma which is sometimes associated with menstruation.
The DfE has reported that the anticipated maximum cost could reach £18 million pounds – if 100% of eligible students take up the offer 100% of the time. The PHS group has the contract to supply the products.
Amika George, who at the age of 17 launched the campaign to end period poverty, commented, ‘Free products in schools will ensure that every child can learn and be their very best, without periods holding them back.’ Meanwhile, unmoderated comments on the Mail on Line criticise the scheme with remarks like: ‘More money available for the essentials like phones, lip fillers, nails, eyelashes, eyebrows, cigarettes and drugs.’
NHS England have also announced that women and girls in hospital will receive free sanitary products on request.