Primary school pupils will have to learn about periods by the age 11

Now all primary school pupils will have to learn about periods by the age of 11, according to new Whitehall guidance

  • Every primary school must teach children about menstruation and periods
  • New rules mean every primary and secondary school must hold the lessons
  • It is hoped ‘menstrual health’ lessons will better prepare young girls for puberty 

Every primary school will have to teach pupils about periods by the age of 11 from next year.

New Whitehall guidance published yesterday says all children must learn about menstruation. 

It is understood the content will be ‘age appropriate’ and head teachers will use their discretion to decide which age groups receive the lessons.

From next year, health education, including mental health, will be compulsory in all primary and secondary schools. It is understood the content will be ‘age appropriate’ [File photo]

While many primary schools already provide such information, the new rules mean every school is now obliged to do so. 

It is hoped the ‘menstrual health’ lessons will better prepare young girls for puberty, including how to spot any issues.

For example, one in ten women in the UK suffer with endometriosis, a painful condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows elsewhere in the body. Many do not realise they have it, and suffer in agony for years.


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Endometriosis sufferer Alice Smith, 23, welcomed the guidance, saying it will enable girls to know ‘from a much younger age what is normal’.

She said she would have gone to the doctor for diagnosis sooner if she had realised what endometriosis was.

From next year, health education, including mental health, will be compulsory in all primary and secondary schools. 

In addition, relationship education will be compulsory in all schools and sex education will be compulsory in all secondaries.

Relationship education will be compulsory in all schools and sex education will be compulsory in all secondaries [File photo]

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