More than 100 Teachers sign Public Letter to the Department for Education

Don’t flood our schools with single-use plastic period products, we’re trying to go plastic-free by 2022!

We are a group of teachers from across the UK, writing to you because we’re concerned about the ability of our schools to go plastic-free as your Department has challenged us to do. We are writing today to offer a simple and effective way you could support us in trying to go plastic free.

As teachers we recognise the importance of tackling period poverty. As such we welcome the announcement in the Spring Budget stating that this government would provide free period products to all school-age girls in England. We are writing today to seek confirmation that this government will ensure that all period products purchased with government funds including all those sent to our UK schools will either be plastic-free disposables or reusable products. This simple action could prevent the equivalent of 90 million plastic bags worth of plastic flooding into our schools.

We know that many people with periods and retailers don’t realise that most period pads (including Lil-lets, Always, Tampax and most supermarkets own-brands) can contain up to 90% plastic – the equivalent of five plastic bags per pack of pads. Without your support on this issue we fear it may be impossible for our schools to go single-use plastic free as you have asked us to do.

With all this in mind, could you please reassure us that government will not be sending period products into our schools that contain plastic.

Thank you again for the commitments to tackle both period poverty and plastic pollution and if you would like to discuss any of this further please do not hesitate in getting in touch with City to Sea who would be delighted to support you in this process. 

Yours sincerely, 

Rachel Carson, Primary school teacher 

“There is a gaping hole in understanding the plastic  problem and school is a great place to start making a difference. Providing plastic-free period products to combat period poverty seems like a golden opportunity to lift girls out of embarrassment and shame whilst simultaneously investing in their future. Why the government would not make this a priority, having recently declared a climate emergency, is beyond me.” 

Saskia Boujo, Secondary school teacher 

“As a secondary PSHE teacher I am faced with the reality of young people not having access to menstrual products: misinformation, absenteeism, stigma around menstruation.  Schools have a duty to open up the conversation so young people can choose from the options available to them, as well as a duty to promote sustainability for better health and for better education. So this petition is at the heart of improving young people’s lives.”

Sasha Gibson, Deputy Principal, Sinclair House School

“It is the children of today, and years to come, who have the true power to make a difference and ‘save’ the world. It is therefore our role and responsibility as educators to equip them with the knowledge and understanding of our current climate emergency within our curriculums. Our recent whole-school ‘Save the World’ Spring Term focus highlighted how passionate our children feel towards supporting a healthier and more sustainable world. The introduction of plastic-free period products is therefore not something we should be discussing or arguing over but instead, implementing without delay.”

Alex Barnes Geography teacher Hayes
Alice Powell Year 1 TA London
Alice Thubron Deputy of English West London
Amirah Miller Science Teacher West London
Andy Symms Year 6 class teacher London
Anita Molnar Cover teacher Bristol Secondary
Annette Rook Headteacher Tower Hamlets
Ashley Johnson Teaching Assistant Local authority infant school
Bethan Sleep French and English Teacher Local Authority Secondary School, North Wales
Catherine Southard Preschool teacher A nursery in London
Chella Quint Former head of PSHE, Founder of Period Positive Sheffield
Coralie Skerman-Gray Early Years teacher Independent (Letchworth)
Daniel SImson Depuy Head teacher Sefton Park School
Debbie Green Swimming Teacher Special Needs School
Dr Sweetpea Smart Teacher rtd/Invigilator Yeovil Academies
Eddie Mulvey Guitar Teacher Heath House Prep
Eleanor Walker Class Teacher Primary School, Bristol
Emma Carson Maths Teacher Catholic College
Francesca Paul Year 5 class teacher London
Gail Kelly Bursar Sunderland
Georgia Hodges Geography teacher Feltham
Georgina Tilyard Citizenship Teacher
Georgina Wilson DT teacher West London
Gianna Colligiani Yr 1 and 2 TA Bristol
Grace Bagshaw Class teacher Local Authority Infant School
Greg Orme Design technology and STEM Priory School, Lewes
Hannah Rowley Head of KS2 Charles Williams School, Caerleon, Wales
Henry Greenwood Founder and Managing Director Green Schools Project
Iain Ross Maths teacher St John’s School, Cyprus (MoD)
Ian Thomas Nurture Lead (HLTA) Secondary SEND school
Janet Tidman School Administrator Primary School, Ipswich
Jenny Flaherty Teaching Assistant Local Authority Infant School
Jo Dunbar Year 1 class teacher Sinclair house school
Jo Taylor Director at education consultancy Bristol
Joanna Cunningham repetition class teacher London
Karen Lambert EY leader Local authority infant school
Kat Bailey School Governor Infant and Junior school, Derbyshire
Kate Powell Primary Teacher Bristol
Kelly Hally Assistant Head Teacher Nottingham
Laura Cooper English teacher Halifax
Laura McLoughlin Year 3 class teacher London
Laura Ollis class teacher Somerset
Lee Rooke Head of PSHE KSHS, Lincolnshire
Louise McKee Biology teacher 6th form college, Manchester
Madeline Barker TA Kent grammar school
Marina Dickings Sociology & PSHE Stowmarket High
Matthew Haas Head of Round Square/Teacher Independent (Kent)
Michelle Lowe FS1, FS2, KS1 and Base Lead
Natasha Dadds TA Sinclair house school
Nicola Underhill KS3 coordinator Halifax
Nicole Packham Class Teacher Arunside, Horsham
Palmirah Joa Head of Science West London
Pat Walmsley 1:1 tutor Primary School Bristol
Rachel Carson Class teacher Local authority infant school
Rebecca Balmer Primary Teacher Bristol
Rebecca Peters Behaviour Support Special Needs School
Robert Slinn Teacher of Humanities Secondary School
Ruari Craig-Wood Deputy Head of English Desborough College
Sam Ferrara Teaching Assistant Sinclair House School
Sarah Clarke Class Teacher Gloucestershire
Sarah Lancashire-Clark Teaching Assistant Norwich
Shaila uddin Year 2 class teacher Sinclair house school
Simon Hutchinson PE Teacher London
Sophie Carr English teacher Halifax
Stella Morgan School Counsellor/ therapist Primary School, Tottenham
Steven Williams Year 4 class teacher Brunel Field, Bristol
Stewart Life SLE/Lead Practitioner Hellesdon High
Terri – Louise Bevan TA Sinclair house school
Tina Hampton Drama Teacher Local Authority Secondary School
Tom Moggach Class Teacher Primary School, London
Tom Stacy-Marks Class teacher (Year 5) Primary School, Bristol
Victoria Hendry Psychology Stowmarket High
Sandi Cummings Retired Teacher Wiltshire
Katherine Wells MFL Teacher Stowmarket High School, Suffolk
Ruth Price Teaching Assistant Cumbria
Anna Wesson Teaching Assistant Primary School, Cardiff
Jim Lancaster DT Technician & Site Manager Hampshire
Ellen Kemp Governor London
Lindsay Allix Parent Devon
Richard Holt Retired Teacher London
Michael Parsons Retired Swansea
Peter Ryland Retired teacher Norfolk
Bryan Bullen Woodland Manager Special Needs school
Alice Griffith KS2 Teacher Oxfordshire
Chrissie O’Hanlon Maths Teacher Secondary School
Sophie Lyle MFL teacher Secondary School
Anthea Blake Teacher Special Needs School
John Hopper FE Lecturer London
Jonny Kirman Class teacher London (Secondary)
Christine Jose Retired working 9 hours a week Southend Primary
Rebecca Rundle KS3 Maths Coordinator London
Hilary Standen Retired Teacher Staffordshire
Sophie Parsons Class Teacher London (Secondary)
Michael Williams Class Teacher London (Secondary)
Joseph Fairbairn IT Manager West Sussex
Valerie Bevan Secondary school teacher Cambridge
Mary Sarju Secondary Maths teacher Croydon
Rae Helm Communications and Marketing Co-ordinator High Storrs School
Edd Moore Year 3 Teacher and Eco Coordinator Damers First School, Dorset
Kate Clifton Science teacher Essex
Ruth Rigby Teaching Assistant Essex
Steve Bushby Teaching Assistant Norfolk
Mira Cooke Advisory Teacher Surrey
Tom Greenwood Vice Principal Greenwich
Roya K Rezaee Retired Blackheath
David Green School Crossing Patrol Gravesend
Ann Klaus Retired Teacher London
Lesley Giles Senior Professional Tutor Milton Keynes
Martin Berger Music teacher Kingston upon Hull
Teresa English Special Needs Teacher Norfolk
Tracey Hand Mathematics Teacher Reading
Kate Jackson Year 1 Teacher Hertford
Lynne Morton Class teacher
Rebecca Balmer Class teacher
Kate Powell Class teacher
Melonie Syrett RSE Consultant and Menstrual Expert London and Essex
Sarah Reeves Class Teacher South Wales 117

To join the call for plastic-free period products in schools, sign our petition here!

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