Sanitary Protection

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of the provision of free sanitary products in (a) schools, (b) foodbanks and (c) homeless shelters.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

We have not estimated the full cost of delivering sanitary products to schools. We do want to find out more about the issue, which is why we have placed questions in the department’s 2018 surveys for pupils and senior school leaders.

We support schools in addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils through the provision of the Pupil Premium, equivalent to almost £2.5bn of additional funding this year alone. Schools have discretion over how they use their funding and can make sanitary products available, if they identify this as a barrier to attendance.

Many homeless services, including hostels and day centres, will make sanitary products available for free to service users. Food banks represent an impressive response by civil society and faith groups to support vulnerable people. Jobcentre Plus offer a signposting service to those who have expressed an interest in using a food bank.

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