First Ever Period Positive Week and Charter Mark started by teacher turned campaigner Chella Quint!
Former head of PSHE Chella Quint created a symbol to help pupils find ‘trained and trusted’ schools and projects working to end period poverty, and now her campaign is awarding this as a charter mark to encourage good practice.
Determined to lay the foundations to build lasting change, Chella left teaching full time and went back to school herself five years ago.
“In my master’s research, pupils asked for a symbol that would let them know they could talk to someone about periods. With their support, I created and trialled the easily recognisable smiling blood droplet logo.”
“It’s a positive sign to young people that even though some adults may still feel uncomfortable talking about periods, there are plenty of teachers, schools, charities and companies out there who are committed to learning how to change this.”
Do you want to address period taboos? Start with yourself, Chella says. “We don’t know what we don’t know. Lots of us hold onto old messages about periods that cause shame and avoidance. It’s not our fault. It’s just how society was. But it’s all starting to change. I know we can do this better. Let’s make it the best change we can.”
“Period poverty isn’t just about financial poverty – it’s a poverty of knowledge and confidence. Offering free products isn’t going to work on its own. If teachers don’t have a way to find reputable resources or partners, or address wider issues around health and wellbeing, or the budget runs out, there will be no legacy for this work. I want better for my pupils and for young people in future, and I know lots of other folks out there do too.
Chella is calling on schools, charities and companies to reach out to Period Positive to earn the award or for help to review their practice and provision, encourage their local authorities to do the same, and to look more deeply into what they can do holistically to change the menstrual landscape in their community. She has already garnered a lot of interest and support.
“I’m so grateful that colleagues both near and far want to learn more too – they want to be confident teachers of the subject – just like every other school subject, and they want to learn from a collective and share best practice. There are a lot of teachers and organisations creating high quality materials that kids like and learn from, but there are also some corporate schemes with hidden advertising built in, and a lot of old resources still floating around with outdated ideas. This isn’t helping young people to make informed choices or trust adults to get it right. Signing up to the The Period Positive Charter is a supportive way to show you want to bust taboos, support young people, and help end period poverty long term.”
The logo is now a charter mark that can be earned and displayed as a symbol of knowledge and confidence when addressing period poverty, with focus on engaging, taboo-busting education for everyone and a real understanding of teachers’ and pupils’ diverse needs. Permission to use different versions of the mark is available for organisations and resources of different types meeting the criteria.
For individuals and those new to this topic, Period Positive Week (20 – 26 May) includes a catchy and memorable call to action each day, with easy starting points for those just dipping a toe in the water.
Period Positive will also offer advice and support to organisations ready to dive in. Throughout the week, there will be free resources available, and announcements from ‘trained and trusted’ key partners who have already evidenced they are working toward the first level of the charter mark.
About Chella and Period Positive:
The #periodpositive campaign and concept of period positivity started as a phrase coined by artist, activist, researcher and former teacher Chella Quint. With the support of grassroots national and international partners, it has grown into a trademark, a charter program, and a movement. Chella is a member of the Sex Education Forum and the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and her work has been recognised as best practice by a group of experts and young people from Relationships and Sex Education Charity Brook.