Kids At Secondary School Will Now Get Tampons And Sanitary Towels Free

Government says scheme will begin in September after period poverty forced pupils to miss lessons.

The government will fund free sanitary products in secondary schools and colleges in England from the next school year, Philip Hammond has confirmed.

The chancellor said this was in response to “rising concern” from headteachers that some girls were missing school due to an inability to afford them.

Delivering his spring statement in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon, Hammond said the funding would kick in at the start of the next school year in September.

According to a 2017 survey by Plan International UK, one-in-10 women aged 14-21 had been unable to afford sanitary products.

The charity found one-in-seven girls have had to ask to borrow sanitary wear from a friend due to affordability issues, while one-in-10 had to improvise sanitary wear due to the cost.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister, said the campaign to end period poverty was “not over”.

“It’s unacceptable that any woman or girl is unable to access menstrual products. We must first tackle the root causes of female poverty.” she said.

A petition started by the Free Periods campaign calling for sanitary products to be provided by government has been signed by more than 270,000 people.

Amika George, who started the petition, said: “Children as young as 11 suffer the shame of using socks, or taping tissue to underwear. It is not only unacceptable, but can seriously jeopardise their health.

“We need to escort period shame out of the door and mobilise the government so that children from the lowest income backgrounds are not marginalised. No child should be held back because they bleed.”

Earlier this month, NHS England announced all women and girls being cared for by the health service will be able to ask for appropriate sanitary products free of charge from this summer.

The British Medical Association (BMA) had argued that it was inconsistent for some hospitals to give out razors and shaving foam, but not offer women sanitary products.


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