School students from Leatherhead met with the School Standards Minister Nick Gibb at Westminster yesterday (March 12).

The students from St John's were invited to Westminster to learn more about the Department of Education (DoE)'s plans to introduce mandatory education about menstrual wellbeing in schools throughout the UK from 2020.

At Westminster they met with Mr Gibb and campaigners to discuss how the government plans to implement additional education about menstruation in the UK.

Last month the Government announced new plans for every child in England to be taught about menstrual wellbeing, setting out plans to make relationships education in all primary schools and relationships and sex education (RSE) in all secondary schools compulsory.

Guidance for the new subject of health education confirms that all pupils – regardless of their gender – will be taught key facts about menstrual wellbeing.

Among the teachers welcoming the new plans was St John's Deputy Head Teacher Ewan Laurie.

Mr Lawrie said: "Puberty can be a confusing time for young adults and taboo and lack of practical information can contribute to the 'mystery' surrounding topics like menstruation...I’m delighted that the Government has now recognised the vital need to teach both boys and girls about menstrual wellbeing in a safe and open environment.

"At St John's School, Leatherhead, pupils have been taking part in workshops to discuss the needs of young people and helping to design teaching resources that work for them. We are delighted to be taking part in such projects as we are committed to giving children the education they need to excel in later life."

Menstrual health charities such as Endometriosis UK praised the policy in a statement released alongside the Westminster visit yesterday.

Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK said: "Endometriosis UK is incredibly encouraged by the response to the new Health Education curriculum that will make it compulsory to teach menstrual wellbeing in both primary and secondary education.

"This change will help overcome the taboo and embarrassment around periods, as well as equipping girls with the knowledge of what is and isn’t normal for their menstrual cycle, and in turn the confidence to seek help when it is needed. Importantly, they will also know the correct language to communicate with their parents or medical practitioners."

Mr Gibb said:

"Our new health education curriculum is designed to give young people all the facts they need to live healthy lives — ensuring every pupil learns about menstrual wellbeing is an important part of that."

"This teaching will build on what pupils learn in science, giving them a well-rounded picture of health — both mental and physical — and encouraging them to discuss these issues with confidence."

The Department of Education have indicated that from September 2020 the new regulations will make Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools, while PSHE is already compulsory in private schools through the Independent School Standards.

Endometriosis UK is currently raising awareness about menstrual health throughout March for Endometriosis Awareness Month, a medical condition which the charity says affects 10 per cent of women in the UK.

The group published new awareness and education material to address diagnosis times with the Royal College of GPs at: