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UK Primary School Kids To Get Free Sanitary Products

The UK government has announced it will provide primary school girls with free sanitary products as early as next year.

The announcement follows shocking reports that primary school girls were skipping class because they were unable afford sanitary products.

UK Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi said the decision was made after extensive consultation with parents, teachers and pupils.

“This government is determined to ensure that no one should be held back from reaching their potential – and wants everyone to lead active, healthy, happy lives," Zahawi said whilst announcing the move.

“That is why earlier this year we committed to fully fund access to free sanitary products in all secondary schools and colleges in England. We are now extending this to more than 20,000 primary schools so that every young person in all our schools and colleges gets the support that they need,” he said.

Image: Getty Images.

Amika George, founder of #FreePeriods, a campaign pushing for free sanitary products for low-income school girls, said she was "thrilled" by the news.

“This is fantastic news... Period poverty should never be a barrier to education,” George said.

“With free access to menstrual products for every child in compulsory education, every student can go to school without the anxiety or stress of worrying where their next pad or tampon will come from."

According to a 2017 survey by Plan International, around 10 percent of girls in England have been unable to afford sanitary products and 12 percent had been forced to improvise menstrual protection as a result of period poverty.

The UK committed to providing secondary school children and college students with tampons and sanitary pads, free of charge, earlier this year.

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Last year, the Scottish government moved to fund free sanitary items in schools, colleges and universities as part of a $9.4 million (£5.2m) scheme to combat period poverty.

The Welsh government has also implemented a $4.1 million (£2.3m) plan for free sanitary products across primary and secondary schools in Wales.

Featured Image: Getty Images

Contact the author on Twitter @edengillespie