More than four in five teachers (83%) believe they need to receive more training on how to educate their students – about periods and puberty, research has found.
Over half of educators (54%) feel the current curriculum is insufficient when it comes to teaching youngsters about changes during puberty – with a quarter admitting they feel ill-equipped to so.
And 83% said covering puberty education in the classroom is challenging – as 68% worry about saying the wrong thing, and appearing insensitive.
However, it is not just teachers who feel this way – as 26% of parents share this concern, with nearly half of mums and dads feeling uncomfortable discussing periods with their own children.
And it emerged that 34% of parents have even been asked a question by their youngster about puberty education – and not known how to answer.
The research, commissioned by Always, polled 1,000 parents, of kids aged eight to 16, and 500 teachers, of 8-14-year-olds.
It comes as the menstrual hygiene brand looks to introduce a new content series, as part of their puberty and period lessons in secondary schools – addressing frequently asked questions by young people around period education.
It will feature TV couple, Zara McDermott and Sam Thompson, in a bid to improve period education for everyone, and engage more with teens around the topic – to ensure those about to experience their first period, and their support groups, can be better prepared and informed.
Zara McDermott said: “First periods can be a nerve-wracking experience if you don’t know what to expect. The content series looks to provide advice around what changes to expect and what period products you need to feel protected, whatever your flow.
“This will help so many people given that, currently, only 58% of parents with a child set to experience periods put a pad in their child’s bag.”
Sam Thompson added: “While making the content series, I found myself embarrassed by my lack of knowledge around periods. It made me realise that in order for me to be a better ally, I also need to be better educated on the topic of periods.
“That way, we can go further towards breaking the taboos around periods, normalising the conversation and supporting anyone set to experience their first one, so no-one feels unprepared.”
The research, carried out via OnePoll, also found 40% of eight- to 16-year-old boys admitted they don’t know much, or anything at all, about periods.
And 48% of parents believed that boys were not adequately informed about periods – something echoed by four in ten teachers.
Emma Gerrard, brand director for Always UK, said: “Preparing for first periods can be a daunting experience for everyone involved, especially if you don’t know what to expect.
“It was important for us to design a content series with everyone in mind. Zara and Sam have been great in helping to make periods part of our everyday conversations.
“Parents, teachers, and teens are looking for more information to help them feel more confident and informed. These first period experiences stay with us, and we want to make it as helpful and positive as possible.”
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