Commenting on a Government initiative to make free period products available to all schools and colleges in England, Rosamund McNeil, assistant general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“The announcement on the roll-out of period products to all primary and secondary schools and colleges is welcome.

“Period poverty forces girls to miss out on vital time in school. In 2018, over 137,000 children missed school because of their period. One in ten girls are unable to afford products to enable them to leave the house. No girl in the UK should miss out on education because they can’t afford these essential products.

“We think the Government will continue to work to tackle the stigma around periods. Poverty affects different children in different ways, but the Government needs an economic plan to lift every family out of poverty.

“The introduction of menstrual wellbeing as a part of the new statutory Health Education curriculum is a step in the right direction but the Government must ensure schools have access to training and resources to feel confident to use the new curriculum.”