To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to help increase the up-take of the free period product scheme for schools.
19 November 2021
The Department for Education’s period product scheme launched in January 2020 and, by the end of 2020, 76% of secondary schools and 79% of post-16 organisations had ordered at least once. These organisations have older students and therefore are more likely to have a higher proportion of students in scope, compared to primary schools.
Further statistics regarding the first year of the scheme’s operation can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/979265/Period_Products_Scheme_January_2021_v2__.pdf. Take up of the scheme is monitored regularly by the department and our supplier, phs, and we will consider opportunities to publish further management information in the future.
All schools and colleges were provided with information on how to place orders for the scheme when it launched in 2020, and again in January 2021. We continue to work with our delivery partner phs to encourage engagement with the scheme. For example, in March 2021 the department ran a new social media communications campaign to raise the profile of the scheme amongst pupils, parents and schools. No one should be held back from accessing education due to their period, and we are considering what further work we can do, including with local authorities, to ensure that all organisations across England are aware of the scheme.
Organisations do not have to use this scheme to acquire period products if they prefer to use an alternative route to make them available.