Thursday 6 February 2020

The most common reason for girls to be absent from class.

Taking time off school due to periods is now the most common reason for girls to be absent from class. More than colds, flu and holidays or truancy according to new research.

More than half of girls have missed school due to their period, accounting for an average of three days of school each term. Of those who miss school due to their period more than one in ten don’t feel they can talk to staff at their school causing them to stay home. 

When I was a teenager I had heavy, painful periods but didn't miss a day of school because of them. I just got on with it. I was really lucky though, I don't ever remember starting my period at school, it was always during the night or on a weekend and I don't remember asking to stay off school because of them. I think my mother would have made me suck it up and just get on with it. Maybe if I had asked my dad he would have let me stay off as he doesn't do talking about periods, he's that generation. Thinking back now they weren't that bad. I had it easy.

Becky on the other hand has missed school because of her periods. She was unlucky to start her first ever period at school and felt rotten with it and was sent home. She laid on the sofa and cried that she would have a period every month for about 40 or 50 years. She didn't tell the teacher why, she just said she felt poorly. From then on at least once every couple of months over year 9 and 10 she would have a day off school. In her defence she used to get really achy legs, feel faint and had a 45 minute walk to and from school. Thankfully when she went into year 11 her periods seemed to ease up.

Becky never felt comfortable speaking to the teachers about periods even the female ones. If she came on at school and felt unwell she would just say she felt sick and sometimes would be sent home if she was sick. I tried to get it though to her that the majority of the female teachers would understand as they have probably suffered with joys that periods bring.

Thankfully Becky has never been in this position but nearly one in 10 girls who miss school because of their period say that is a direct result of being unable to afford or access sanitary products which works out to one girl in an average class of 30. I think that is a shocking statistic for something that is classed as an essential for a female. Now state schools and colleges in England can order free period products for students as part of a government scheme to tackle period poverty! I don't think that will stop the issue of girls being embarrassed to ask for them but it is a massive step in the right direction.

Did you ever miss school because of your period, have your daughters?


  1. I do think this is a really positive move forward as I can't imagine being in the position that I couldn't afford sanitary products, especially as a teen. I did miss the odd day of school, yes, as I fainted at times and had very painful periods. I'm just hoping my girl doesn't have to go through the same thing x

    1. It must be so awful not to afford something so basic as sanitary products.
      Fingers crossed your girl is OK x

  2. I use to be doubled with cramps as well as being very heavy and therefore missed a couple of days most months with school as well as work. I tried everything that was available at the time but nothing much seemed to help.
    Scotland has reduced period poverty by putting them into public toilets, most hotels, pubs, cafes have them available as well as all schools, libraries and council buildings.
    Fifi quite openly talks about period pains, heaviness of bleeding etc even with her dad and brothers around.

    1. Periods are rotten things to have! It sounds like you had a really rough time.
      Thank you x

  3. Periods are hard especially at school. I remmebr once using tons of toilet roll as didn't have the money for sanitary products. I think free products is a step forward to improving education for girls X

  4. My periods were absolutely awful and I did miss time from school and work. Some days I couldn't stand up straight. It did get better after my first child was born. My daughter's have not been so bad so far. Star has problems but the school allow her to go and lie down if she needs to, they even have a hot water bottle....and, they have always had sanitary products available for any girl that needs them. (Star has even had to have a pair of pants from the school.) x