Now pupils are back in the classroom no-one should be held back from accessing education due to their period.
In January 2020, we launched the Period Products Scheme to provide learners with period products when they need them.
But how does the scheme work? Why is it so necessary and how can you make sure your school or college is involved?
Why have you introduced this programme?
Departmental data from 2018 found that 14% of female college students and 6% of female school pupils had been unable to access period products in the previous 12 months due to affordability. It is important that learners are able to attend lessons and engage in learning without worrying about their period.
So what is the Period Products Scheme?
Having periods should not be a barrier to education for any young person.
The Period Products Scheme provides anyone who has periods access to period products like tampons, towels and more through their school or college if, for example, they can’t afford period products, have forgotten to bring them to school or college or have come on their period unexpectedly. Through the scheme, all state maintained secondary schools, post 16 organisations and primary schools with pupils aged 10 and above in England are provided with a budget for period products.
Organisations can log into their online account, place an order and have the products delivered free of charge.
The scheme works alongside the Health Education curriculum in schools to help tackle any stigma around menstruation.
Who is eligible for the scheme?
All learners in schools and colleges should be able to access period products if they need them. Girls, non-binary and transgender learners who have periods may all need to access this scheme.
How does the scheme actually work?
To make sure organisations have access to a wide range of period products in the most cost-effective and efficient way, we have a national contract with Personnel Hygiene Services Limited (phs). This allows organisations to order period products and have them delivered when they need them.
Schools and colleges then choose how the products are made available to pupils. Some have them in the welfare room, others in toilets. Some organise drop-in sessions where learners can go to collect products.
How many organisations are currently taking part in the scheme?
In 2020, 76% of secondary schools, 79% of post 16 organisations and 41% of primary schools had ordered products.
In total, during the first year of the scheme 16,698 orders had been placed, an encouraging figure illustrating that we are taking a huge step towards providing learners with free period products when they need them.
I don’t think my school/college offers this – what should I do?
Speak to your school or college and make sure they are aware of the scheme – if they are not, explain that they should look online at how to get involved.
How can I find out more information about the scheme?
More information on the Period Product scheme can be found here.