Evidence suggests that more than a quarter of students have struggled to access sanitary products at some point in the previous 12 months because, among other reasons, they couldn’t afford them. It has also been the case that some students have had to miss school or skip classes because they didn’t have access to products when they needed them.
The Scottish Government has taken action on this and has committed to providing access to free sanitary products for those attending schools, colleges and universities in Scotland from the start of the new 2018/19 academic term. The purpose of this commitment is to support equality, dignity and rights for those who menstruate and to ensure that lack of access to products does not impact on an individual’s ability to fully participate in education at all levels.
The Scottish Government has worked closely with COSLA, Universities Scotland and Colleges Scotland to develop a funding model and a set of Guiding Principles. However, local authorities have been free to develop their own method for ensuring products are available in their institutions, in line with local needs and preferences. This means that there will be some variation in how products are made available from one local authority to another.
The Scottish Government has worked closely with Young Scot to develop a resource for students to access information on periods and the different types of sanitary products. Students, teachers, parents and carers can access this resource at www.young.scot/periods to find out more.
In short, the aim is for students to be able to access sanitary products in a manner that respects their dignity and meets their particular needs. Some of you may have questions or concerns about this work, which should be directed in the first instance to your child’s school. If you have any questions relating to the wider Scottish Government policy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.