Period Products - Statement on Exercise of Functions
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 12th January 2021. The Act requires local authorities to ensure period products are provided free of charge to anyone who needs them during term time on their premises. It is the world's first legislation to make it mandatory for all public institutions to provide sanitary products for menstruation.
The Act states:
- Everyone in Scotland who menstruates should have reasonably convenient access to period products, free of charge, as and when required.
- We must make products reasonably easy to obtain, we must try to ensure dignity is preserved and respected and offer a reasonable choice of types of products (1 type of tampon, 1 type of sanitary pad and 1 reusable product).
- Recipients should not be required to ask for products, justify why they need them, or any limit placed on the number of products recipients can receive. Colleges have a duty to make period products available free of charge for anyone who needs them, and in their role as education providers, make period products available at no cost in college buildings.
Colleges are also required to publish a Statement on how they will exercise their functions under the Act. The statement must be prepared in consultation with relevant individuals, groups, and organisations.
Edinburgh College Statement of Function
With the funding made available by Scottish Government Edinburgh College provides period products to all those who need them. Edinburgh College ensures that:
- all period products are provided free of charge and reasonably easy to obtain, with a choice of single use and reusable products offered including single use pads, washable period pants, single use tampons and menstrual cups.
- products are available in all college campus buildings throughout the year excluding when buildings are closed.
- Students have the option of having products delivered directly to their home via Hey Girls
- Student consultation and engagement has been carried out to inform our provision;
- information on the scheme is communicated effectively; and
- provision is regularly monitored and reviewed.
Edinburgh College has ensured there is no limit to the number of products a student can access. There is no requirement to ask for products and they are freely available to collect within toilets, Student Services areas, Students’ Association offices, and other public areas. Cleaning staff monitor and refresh stock regularly. Posters and product displays are exhibited throughout our campuses. The service is promoted via our Student Wellbeing Hub, regular social media posts, our Student Newsletter and events such as ‘Environmenstrual Week’ which was organised by Edinburgh College Students’ Association.
A facility for students to order products online direct from Hey Girls with delivery to their home address was introduced during the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020 to ensure students still had access to free period products. This facility has continued and is promoted in advance of public holidays to ensure students have access to products whilst our buildings are closed.
Consultation and Engagement
The distribution of free sanitary products was implemented within Edinburgh College during academic year 2019/2020. Students were involved in a consultation in September 2018, with the following results:
Edinburgh College welcomes feedback and students are encouraged to contact our wellbeing team via email@example.com to share their views or ask questions about this provision. As students have returned to campus-based learning, an annual consultation will be introduced.
Edinburgh College is committed to maintaining the current provision and continuing the home delivery service available via Hey Girls. A dedicated page on Moodle outlines the full provision available including a link to the online ordering form for home delivery. We will continue to promote this service and include our students in consultation to evaluate uptake and performance to ensure we have the best option available to meet student need.