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Secondary Education: Sanitary Protection

Question for Department for Education

UIN 89723, tabled on 14 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to make the free period product scheme compulsory for secondary schools in England.

Answered on

23 September 2020

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.