Free sanitary products scheme given funding boost

An increase in funding has been announced to continue the provision of free sanitary products to pupils and students in Scotland.

Last year, Scotland become the first country in the world to provide access to free sanitary products for school pupils, as well as college and university students.

Increased investment of up to £5.5 million will now be made by the Scottish Government to ensure that provision continues.

Local authorities will receive £2 million for the next financial year, while universities and colleges will receive up to £3.5 million.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government announced funding to increase the number of places where free sanitary products are available.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell and Cosla president Alison Evison visited Stirling High School on Friday to meet pupils benefiting from free products and campaigning to reduce period stigma.

Ms Campbell said: “After a successful launch last year, we have delivered world-leading action by providing free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities.

“Being able to access free sanitary products is fundamental to equality and human dignity.

“I’ve heard first-hand from pupils about the positive impact of having products easily available at school.

“It takes away the worry of being caught short or missing a day of school if they don’t have products available at home.

“I commend the work of the students who have been working hard to reduce the stigma of periods as it’s really important that no one gets embarrassed about periods and parents and children, boys and girls can all openly talk about them.”

Ms Evison said: “Cosla and our member councils have led the way in providing access to free sanitary products in schools, ensuring fairness for learners and enabling them to fully participate in education.

“This visit has allowed me to see the provision and the facilities first hand and to congratulate staff and pupils for making this initiative a reality for local young people.”

Amy McDiarmid, a fourth-year pupil at Stirling High School, said: “The initiative has worked really well at our school because of pupil involvement and this has helped reduce the stigma around periods.

“I got involved with the issue because I thought it was important.”