FREE sanitary products will be available in schools and colleges in England from this September, the government confirmed today.
Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement in his Spring Statement, which is a major victory for “period poverty” campaigners.
AFP – Getty Girls in secondary schools and colleges will soon get sanitary products for free
Statistics show some women are being forced to choose between paying the bills and buying tampons, while schoolgirls have missed school because they couldn’t afford sanitary products.
The average woman spends more than £150 a year on the products.
Mr Hammond said: “In response to rising concern by headteachers that some girls are missing school attendance due to inability to afford sanitary products, I have decided to fund the provision of free sanitary products in secondary schools and colleges in England from the next school year.”
The national scheme will be developed by the Department for Education, according to documents published by the Treasury.
The move follows a trial in schools in Nottingham and Bristol, which began in November last year.
Charity Plan International UK has found that one in 10 girls aged 14 to 21 have been unable to afford sanitary products.
A total of 12 per cent have had to improvise sanitary wear and 19 per cent of girls have changed to a less suitable sanitary product due to cost.
Research by the maker of Always products has also showed a fifth of UK parents struggle to afford sanitary protection for their daughters.
Earlier this month, NHS England announced all women and girls being cared for will be able to get free sanitary products from this summer.
And in August last year, the Scottish Government also said it would provide free sanitary products to students at schools, colleges and universities across the country.
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Period poverty is a real problem for thousands of women living in the UK, but luckily there are ways to get sanitary products for free.
Last year, The Sun revealed how pharmacies charge women up to £24 more a year for the products than supermarkets.
Last month, football club Manchester City announced it’ll give sanitary pads out to women for free on both match day and non-match day.
Inspirational 18-year-old Amika George talks about the fight to end period poverty
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