Raising the profile of periods

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Why are we doing this?: 

Wrexham County Borough Council has received some funding to provide female sanitary equipment and products across Wrexham schools.  A small group of Councillors has been set up (a Scrutiny Task and Finish Group) to consider what the Council can do to improve provision locally and to make sure that this money is spent in the right way.

What do we want to know?: 

The Scrutiny Task and Finish Group want to know what Wrexham pupils think about current provision of female sanitary equipment and products across Wrexham schools to inform their recommendations about how this could be improved with the limited funding available.   

What we found out: 

The full report on the findings and recommendations of the Task & Finish Group can be found here (http://moderngov.wrexham.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=172&MId=4433 ).  Key messages were as follows:-

 

Availability of sanitary products/sanitary disposal facilities:

  • There appears to be some provision of sanitary products across all schools, but pupils don’t necessarily know about it.
  • There is disparity between where free sanitary products are available and how pupils would like to access them – pupil preference for direct access through vending machines or boxes in toilets/cubicles vs staff preference for indirect access through nominated member of staff.
  • Although there is provision of sanitary disposal facilities (bins) across schools, there appears to be inconsistency in following the Council’s model hygiene policy which is based on Welsh Government guidance (ie Sanitary disposal units are available in all age-appropriate female toilets within individual cubicles). 

     

Choice and Quality of Sanitary products

  • Overall, sanitary towels and tampons are the preferred products, but towels are the main preference for primary schools.
  • Less than 50% of pupil respondents thought the choice and quality of products were suitable in both primary and secondary.  Most of the comments related to the need for pupils to have more choice.

 

What difference has it made?: 

The Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee made a number of recommendations to the Head of Education, based on the feedback from schools, pupils and local groups involved in the distribution of free sanitary products in Wrexham.  These included the following:-

 

  1. That sanitary dispensing shelves be provided in as many female toilet cubicles as possible across all secondary schools, within the limited Welsh Government grant funding available.

     

  2. That, with regard to the provision of free sanitary products, the Welsh Government revenue grant funding be prioritised as follows:-

     

    (a) the provision of sanitary towels across all Secondary Schools for direct access within the toilet cubicles, with tampons also being made available on request from a nominated member of staff, in accordance with education guidance. 

     

    (b) some provision of sanitary towels in all primary schools

     

The Chair, Councillor Carrie Harper, also forwarded the report and recommendations to the relevant Welsh Government Ministers to highlight the ongoing need for specific and sufficient funding to address this issue.

 

In March 2019, Welsh Government issued additional funding of £96,507 to the Council to ensure sanitary products are made available to all learners in all schools free of charge.   The funding has been allocated as follows:-

 

  • All secondary schools have been provided with a range of free sanitary products (range of tampons and towels).   From September 2019, secondary schools will also be provided with a small supply of reusable products (reusable towels and mooncups). 
  • All primary schools received a supply of products (range of sanitary towels) during June 2019, with additional products being made available throughout the year.
  • Unfortunately, the dispensing shelves in school toilets proved too costly.  Instead, all secondary schools were supported with funding to enable them to develop local distribution systems which are developed in conjunction with the pupils and considers their view that the products should be freely accessible within the toilet cubicles

 

All schools have been asked to feedback on the usage of the products, which will inform future deliveries throughout the year and potential future spending.

Partners: Ysgol Clywedog (pilot project for the provision of free female sanitary products) WINGS (voluntary group who provide free female sanitary products to women and schools) Wrexham Nappy Library (Community Interest Company who distribute sustainable female sanitary products)
Start date04 September 2018
End date28 September 2018
Full addressContactEmailContact numbers
Guildhall
Wrexham
LL11 1AR
Tracy Daviestracy.davies@ wrexham.gov.ukPhone: 01978 292258