FIVE per cent of Glasgow schoolgirls have missed school because they can't afford sanitary protection.

The figure was uncovered during a pupil-led scheme to develop a way of providing free tampons and towels in all city schools.

Organisers said the figure was smaller than expected - but still amounts to around 50 girls in a large secondary school.

As told in the Evening Times last year, a pilot project was set up in Smithycroft Secondary, Castlemilk High, Hillpark Sec-ondary and St Paul's Secondary.

At Castlemilk High, three quarters of girls said they know a pupil who misses school because they can't afford sanitary protection.

At all four schools working groups were set up of S2 girls and teachers to find out how pupils could be supported during their periods.

The move came after an announcement from the Scottish Government that sanitary products are to be provided for free in schools, colleges and universities.

Surveys found four per cent of girls had missed school due to not being able to afford sanitary protection.

Following the survey, councillor Jen Leydon, who brought the motion for the pilot project to full council, met with pupils and Executive Director of Education Maureen McKenna.

Now, from April until June, the provision of free sanitary products will be trialled in schools, overseen by a group of S2 pupils with a view to rolling the scheme out across Glasgow.

Schools will work with Scottish social enterprise Hey Girls, which donates a box of sanitary products for each box bought.

Ms McKenna heard Celia Hodson of Hey Girls speaking on the radio and made contact to ask about a partnership with Glasgow schools.

Celia said: "Sometimes you speak to someone and feel you are speaking the same language.

"I was very impressed with what Glasgow schools are doing and we are very happy to support them."