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Michelle Donelan has announced that free period products are to be made available to all schools and colleges in England, as a result of Department for Education funding.
The Children and Families Minister claimed that the new scheme will give pupils easy access to period products at school or college, helping to break down stigmas and ensure no young person’s education is disrupted by their period.
As of 20 January, schools and colleges across the country can begin to order a range of period products from supplier phs Group, making period products readily available for all young people when they need them.
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.”
Amika George, founder of #FreePeriods, said: “We have been waiting for this day for a long time! 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.”
The government announced last year that it would fully fund period products for all state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. From September 2020, it is also becoming compulsory for all state funded primary and secondary schools to teach health education.
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