CCEA surveys highlight Period Dignity progress in NI schools

Published: 01/06/2022, 1:00pm

More than 76% of teachers feel that period products are now more accessible to pupils, according to a survey conducted by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) to determine the impact of the Period Dignity Pilot Scheme.

The survey of teaching professionals also showed that  77.1% of teachers who participated in CCEA’s Period Dignity/Menstrual Wellbeing training webinars now feel more confident when talking to pupils about Period Dignity.

A separate survey of pupils showed that the vast majority – almost 90% - agree that having improved access to period products would reduce absenteeism due to period poverty with 71% of pupils saying that access to period products has improved.

The survey sought feedback on experiences of teachers and pupils regarding the Period Dignity scheme to determine how effective it had been since launch in:

  • increasing the accessibility of period products
    and
  • combating period poverty and the stigma associated with periods.

More than 2,100 pupils and teaching professionals across Northern Ireland participated in the surveys in January 2022.

Findings from the surveys will help CCEA, the Department of Education and the Education Authority determine the success of the project so far as well as identify potential improvements.

Period Dignity refers to the accessibility and availability of essential care needed to support a period, in conjunction with the breaking of stigma and taboo around periods.

The NI Executive agreed in December 2020 to fund a pilot scheme to provide free period products to all schools in Northern Ireland with effect from September 2021.

The scheme aims to ensure that period products are available to pupils where and when they need them, as well as provide educational support within the school setting.

We would like to extend our thanks once again to everyone who took time to complete the surveys.

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