The government's scheme (launched on 20 January 2020) makes free period products available for pupils in all state-funded schools and 16-19 education organisation in England. The scheme, now extended into 2021, aims to break down the stigma around menstruation and ensure a young person's education is not disrupted by their period.
Following the initial announcement early in 2019, NAHT urged the government to extend the scheme to primary schools, and we are pleased that the government listened to us and other organisations, with the scheme now available to all phases.
The government has now released data showing how this scheme was utilised by schools in 2020. This data shows that:
- 76% of secondary schools and 41% of primary schools made an order using the scheme alongside 40% of special schools and 38% of alternative provision centres.
- 30% of all products ordered were eco-friendly/reusable, with 68% of products ordered by secondary schools falling into this category.
- The total value of orders by the end of December 2020 was £2,791,000 which amounts to 41% of the total spend cap for all organisations.
Schools and colleges should have received an activation email in January 2020, enabling them to order a variety of products, including eco-friendly options, from PHS Group via their online portal MyPHS. If you did not activate your account in 2020, PHS will send a new email in January 2021.
The government has produced guidance on the following:
- which pupils are eligible
- choosing and ordering period products
- distributing products within institutions
- tackling the stigma around periods.
Between January 2020 and December 2020, you had a total amount you could spend. You will receive a new amount in January 2021, which you can use to order products up to and including December 2021. You can see the amount you can spend for 2021 on the PHS portal
from 4 January 2021.
You will be able to select from a wide range of period products, varying in type, size and brand.
You may want to speak to learners about the types of products to keep in stock, and you must provide learners with safety information for each product in an accessible format before they use the product.
Further information is available in the your responsibilities
section of the guidance.
First published 21 January 2020