The Education Secretary Justine Greening will explore the issue of providing free sanitary products for children receiving free school meals following concerns that many teenage girls are missing school each month due to families being unable to afford sanitary items.

During education questions in the House of Commons, Greg Mulholland, Leeds North West MP, stated: “It is deeply shocking in the 21st century that girls, including in Leeds, are not going to school because they can’t afford sanitary products.”

In reply to this comment, Greening said: “I think you have raised an important issue and it’s one that I will look at carefully and write to you about.”

Poor attendance at school can have a detrimental effect on the future prospects of a child or young person. Exam results can suffer dramatically, and persistent absence from school can sometimes be an indicator of child protection concerns at home. As a result, attendance is a key area reviewed by Ofsted when inspecting schools in the UK.

If you would like to raise your awareness of child protection concerns, we offer a range of sector-specific child protection online training courses, which offer a value for money solution for schools, parents, dentists and other professionals working closely with children and young people.