Secondary schools will begin to provide free sanitary products to girls from the new school year, the Chancellor has announced.
In an attempt to tackle so-called 'period poverty,' the Chancellor confirmed that secondary schools will start providing sanitary products free of charge to girls.
Philip Hammond said that the Department of Education would work with schools and colleges to roll out a scheme across England.
According to Plan International, one in 10 girls in the UK cannot afford sanitary towels or tampons and as many as 137,000 girls have missed a day at school as a result.
It says that women spend £18,000 over their lifetime on sanitary products – an average of £13 a month.
Mr Hammond said that the initiative should be up and running by the start of the new school year in September.
Benefits charity Turn2us tweeted: “Fantastic news that free sanitary products will be provided in English secondary schools from September. A good step in tackling period poverty for many children.”
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, the union which represents leaders in the majority of schools adds:: “It is very welcome news that free sanitary products will be available in schools and colleges from the next academic year.
"Too many girls miss out on vital education each month as a lack of access to sanitary products forces them to miss school. Even those pupils who do not suffer period poverty will benefit from free access to sanitary products, ensuring no child is without protection during what can be a very stressful and vulnerable time.
“It would, however, be good to see free sanitary products further extended to year 6, as many girls start their periods before secondary school. The government deserves a lot of credit for recognising this issue and for solving it as quickly as possible.”