Statement of Intent: Period Products Act

Dundee and Angus College Statement of College–Based Provision, based on dedicated future funding from the Scottish Government.

Since 2018 Dundee and Angus College has been delivering on the Scottish Government requirement to provide access to free sanitary products in schools, colleges, and universities, to support equality, dignity and rights for those who menstruate, and to ensure that lack of access to products does not impact on an individual’s ability to fully participate in education at all levels.

At Dundee and Angus College, we know that student wellbeing and wellness are paramount to a positive college experience. We are fully committed to student care and work hard to educate and empower our students throughout their learning journey. Ending period poverty is an important strand in this work and The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 has given us a platform to provide accessible, free products to all students who need them. In addition, we have utilised the funding to develop education resources, believing that education is the fundamental solution to ending period poverty.

Since the announcement in 2018 for colleges to provide products to those in need, Dundee and Angus College has worked bravely and innovatively to create a sector leading and truly impactful service; gaining recognition at the national Green Gown Awards recognising exceptional sustainability initiatives, and the Scotland wide College Development Network Awards where we were highly commended in the Sustainability Action category.

Not content to work in silos, we partnered with Free Period Angus (Angus CPP) to develop a legacy training resource and, most recently, kickstarted a regional working group comprising D&A, Angus Council, Dundee City Council, Perth College and Perth & Kinross Council. Stronger together, we look forward to a regional, “Tay Cities” approach to eradicating period poverty.

Statement of Intent

This is the Dundee and Angus College Statement of College-Based Provision, based on dedicated future funding from the Scottish Government:

Dundee and Angus College believes that no students’ education should be negatively impacted by period poverty. On campus, we will provide products, education and an inclusive environment free from embarrassment, judgement or concern. In our communities, we will work in partnership to develop a regional and sustainable legacy.

We will do this through:

  • Providing a range of free and fully accessible sanitary products, across all campuses throughout the full year, regularly reviewing our service;
  • Creating an environment in which students can openly and honestly initiate or engage in discussions about periods and the menopause, whether they themselves, or someone they are supporting, is experiencing symptoms;
  • Creating learning opportunities where students can enhance their knowledge and understanding;
  • Providing advice and information to key staff about the symptoms of periods and the menopause and how they can best support students who may be experiencing issues whilst at college;
  • Working side by side with community partners, contributing to the local and regional efforts in eradicating period poverty.

Consultation & Engagement

At every stage, our Period Positive project has been service designed with students, staff and community partners to ensure a fully inclusive, accessible and engaging offer. We carried out research with 232 students across our 3 main campuses and outreach centres harnessing feedback on:

Usage:
83% had accessed free period products

Location:
77% had accessed the products in loose baskets in the toilets
24% had accessed from the free-vend machines
Others accessed at student events, period information stalls, through email and social media order, asking a staff member or deliveries to their home address

Types of products (Provided by Hey Girls):
69.3% had accessed single use pads
31.2% had accessed washable period pants
39% had accessed single use tampons
16.1% had accessed menstrual cups

Ideas on how we can improve this service:
88 students provided qualitative feedback, to be utilised in future planning and improvements.

Next steps

Dundee and Angus College will continue to work creatively and thoughtfully, in promoting period dignity across our campuses. Looking forward to the next 3 years (funded period) our priorities, in addition to providing free products, are:

  • Future Planning
    Identify key actions from the research we carried out with our students.
  • Educational Resource
    Build on the legacy work with Free Period Angus, launching our Period Education training video and kit, to be rolled out to schools, colleges, universities and throughout our communities.
  • Regional Approach
    Strengthen our newly formed Tay Cities Period Dignity Working Group, comprising D&A College, Angus Council, Dundee Council, Perth College and Perth & Kinross Council, to provide a strengthened, consistent and visible approach to period poverty. A key development is the creation of a new 2-year funded project management post, coalescing all ongoing efforts into a more connected service.