Government funding for free sanitary products in all English secondary schools and colleges has been welcomed as a “huge step” by campaigners.

Amika George, 19, who started campaigning on period poverty two years ago, said the move would make a “massive difference” to girls who struggled to afford tampons and pads.

But campaigners said it should also include primary schools.

Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement in his Spring Statement.

He said the government was responding to concerns from head teachers that some girls were missing school because they could not afford sanitary products.

One in 10 girls between the ages of 14 and 21 in the UK have been unable to afford sanitary products, while 49% have missed an entire day of school because of their period, according to research by Plan International.