Free menstrual products for schools: Here’s how many schools in Leeds are offering free menstrual products to pupils

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

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This means that the remaining 44% of schools have not yet benefited from the program.

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The Red Box project indicates that with the rising cost of living, it is even more important that young people have access to the products.

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

Schools can order products such as sanitary napkins and tampons, as well as eco-friendly alternatives such as periodic cups and reusable sanitary napkins.

They are available for all students who need them, including those who have forgotten products, are starting their periods unexpectedly, or cannot afford them.

Across England, take-up of the program is around 61% in primary schools, but 94% in secondary schools.

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

He said: “The rising tide in the cost of living, added to the impact of the pandemic on families and carers, means that household budgets have yet to stretch.

“Free menstrual products can be the lifeline for young people who menstruate but don’t have access to menstrual products.

“No young person should miss his education because he is menstruating.”

Figures show schools in Leeds spent an average of £482 each on delivering the products in 2021, around 85% of last year’s £570 spending cap.

In 2020 schools in the area spent an average of £335.

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, from Manchester and Middlesbrough.

“I encourage every school and college to check their inventory and continue to order products before the end of the school year.

“It’s the quickest and easiest way to make sure they’re available to everyone who needs them.”

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

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