We offer free, ongoing support to schools and other learning institutions striving to ensure their aims meet the Period Positive Pledge.
Did you know that simple changes to policy, practices and infrastructure could make your school easier to navigate for pupils who menstruate? This improves individual and organisational wellbeing, productivity and attendance.
The Period Positive Schools Award is a scalable process designed to help schools and colleges across all sectors to address what’s often considered ‘the last taboo’.
Period shame can be difficult to recognise as a class teacher, manager or leader. Many of the consequences of internalised fear or stigma are hard to spot, and even harder to articulate, especially for young people.
At a time when schools andeducation authorities are already reconfiguring and reshaping where and how staff work, how buildings operate how pupils attend, in a sector that is already tasked with responding to period poverty and delivering a new sex education curriculum, many school and council leaders have expressed a desire to incorporate period positivity into these new systems.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Has the leadership team committed themselves to improving their menstrual literacy?
Have you ever sensed awkwardness or reluctance from staff or pupils about discussions or lessons on menstruation?
Do you find that you ‘self-edit’ your own desire to speak up about periods, despite wanting to say more to pupils or colleagues?
Are you aware of colleagues who experience issues around menstruation or menopause or have womb-related illnesses?
Do staff attendance policies penalise regular patterns of absence?
Do pupils who menstruate have higher patterns of absenteeism or illness than those who don’t?
If there is period poverty provision, is there a clear procurement process focused on choice and sustainability, or do you feel ‘stuck’ in a system that favours one brand or product type over all the others?
Have you checked whether any provision or messaging reflects inclusive language and practice to support marginalised identities?
Do you already have curriculum areas or professional development time for growing your staff’s and pupils’ menstruation knowledge base or familiar strategies and occasions for teaching or training about difficult topics?
Do you have sustainability policies that include menstrual waste management and promote a wide variety of ethically sourced plastic-free disposables and reusable menstrual products?
And finally, what are your toilets and toilet access policies like?
The journey you have already started toward implementing this culture shift can be evidenced and celebrated by earning the Period Positive Schools Award. So many policies exist only as a nice idea stored in a document archive somewhere. The Award process serves as a working guide to creating transformative change. The Award logo can then be displayed as a symbol that shows you are taking practical steps to evolve your practice to be inclusive, supportive, innovative and sustainable.
Whether your lessons and activities reside mainly online or in person at the moment, we have developed a route toward transformational change that meets you and your staff, pupils and parents where you are and builds from there.
The evidence you collate to earn this Award can contribute to evidence of other standards such as the Athena Swan Charter, the GECM and the Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index.
Below is a general outline of the process.
Steps for attaining The Period Positive Schools or Places Award
- Exploration – evidence that the school has explored attitudes towards menstruation through following the Period Positive Pledge, and supporting activities such as a questionnaire, focus groups and attending a training workshop supported by Period Positive.
- Leadership – through the designation of staff and pupil Period Positive Champions to guide the implementation of the further points listed below.
- Audit of the organisation – assessment of the building(s) and policies with regards to what it is like for supporting menstruation education, menstruation management and menstrual literacy and reducing menstrual taboos and shame.
- Self assessment – working out what needs improving, both in the building(s), and regarding the knowledge of staff and pupil needs.
- Implementation – setting these changes in the built environment, policy and attitudes in motion.
- Signposting – making everyone aware that this is a Period Positive School or College where you may openly talk about menstruation and issues associated with it, supporting related awareness events, and offering contact information for reputable external services to clients with concerns about their reproductive health.
- Evidencing – demonstrating that the school or family of schools have made the above changes in order to gain a bronze, silver, or gold mark.
- To earn the Bronze level: Provide evidence that self-assessments are being conducted, audits are being carried out and awareness raising is taking place.
- To earn the Silver level: Evidence that targets for improvement have been set and implementation of changes has begun.
- To earn the Gold level: Evidence of consistent adherence to the new standards, plus offering further outreach to the wider community, eg. offering workshops to linked community organisations and encouraging other institutions or regional administrative bodies as a whole to earn the Period Positive charter.
- Everyone in the organisation must be responsible for supporting the Period Positive champions in achieving all three levels of the charter since they cannot be achieved a single team member alone.
- The charter should be re-evaluated each year and targets set for monitoring and furthering impact to create a legacy for this work and further improve menstrual literacy.
- The charter mark is a trademarked symbol and can only be used with permission in conjunction with evidence of standards, in the style of the Fair Trade logo, the Gender Equality Charter Mark, The Global Schools Award, or the Fair Tax Mark.