More than a quarter of Doncaster schools not signed up to free period product scheme

More than a quarter of schools in Doncaster are yet to sign up to a Government scheme to provide free period products to their pupils.

Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 12:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 12:33 pm

The Red Box Project, which campaigned for the scheme to be introduced, says with the rising cost of living, it is even more important young people have access to the products.

Department for Education data shows just 72 per cent of 124 eligible state-funded schools in Doncaster ordered period products for their pupils between the start of the scheme in January 2020 and the end of last year.

It means the remaining 28 per cent of schools are yet to take advantage of the scheme.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

More than a quarter of Doncaster schools not signed up to free period product scheme

The figures cover primary and secondary schools, as well as 16 to 19 education providers.

Products schools can order include period pads and tampons, and environmentally friendly alternatives such as period cups and reusable pads.

They are available to all pupils who need them, including those who have forgotten products, start their period unexpectedly, or cannot afford them.

Across England, uptake of the scheme is around 61 per cent in primary schools, but 94% across secondary schools.

Clegg Bamber, co-founder of The Red Box Project, wants more schools to sign up to the project to avoid young people missing school due to a lack of access to period products.

Read More

Read More
Doncaster stabbings: Man, aged 19, charged in murder investigation

He said: "The rising tide of the cost of living, added to the impact of the pandemic on families and carers, means household budgets are needing to stretch further.

"Free period products can be the lifeline to young people who menstruate but don't have access to period products.

"No young person must miss out on their education because they have their period."

The figures show schools in Doncaster spent an average of £234 each to provide the products in 2021 – around 67 per cent of the £348 spend cap last year.

In 2020, schools in the area spent £309 on average.

Will Quince, minister for children and families, said the Government was encouraging all schools to make the most of the scheme.

"Demand should be no different from Stockport and Slough, to Manchester and Middlesbrough."

Around 817,000 packets of period products were purchased by schools in England last year, 48% of which were eco-friendly or reusable.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.