In 2014, our founder Laura Coryton started a petition to ‘End Tampon Tax’ campaign. Their petition-based campaign changed UK law in 2021, successfully lobbied the UK Government into launching the Tampon Tax Fund, which saw nearly £100m go to female-focused charities across five years, and now has a sister petition in every continent across the world.
They use their campaigning experience to bring the new RSE curriculum to life and to frame their discussions around campaigning. They encourage students to consider how they might tackle and speak up about RSE-related problems, such as bullying or harassment, so they can make a positive difference to those around them.
In addition, for her work at Sex Ed Matters and campaigning to end tampon tax, Laura became an Obama Foundation European Leader in 2022, for which she met President Obama and discussed sexism and campaigning with him. She was also lucky enough to work with Harper Collins when they published her first book in 2019, a campaign guide for rebel girls, which was translated into French in 2020 and launched in the USA in 2022.
Laura has extensive experience in speaking about these issues, including at BBC’s Woman’s Hour, BBC’s University Challenge Christmas Celebrity Special, BBC Breakfast, BBC News, ITV News, most recently on 6th January 2023 to discuss her new tampon tax petition, The Oxford Union, The European Parliament, for Molly Scott MSP’s ‘taxation if a feminist issue’ conference, The United Nation’s ‘Girl Up’ summit, The LSE Ted X conference, The Battle of Ideas Festival: What’s the point in feminism today?, Columbia University and Hay Festival. She is really looking forward to speaking at the Women of the World Festival in London this year with the Girls' Day School Trust and hopes to have her second book published in 2024.
Julia has been a designer for the last 8 years, she won the packaging innovation award in 2021, has had her artwork in several exhibitions and continues to work on artworks and 3D mock ups of commercial spaces. In 2022 she won a Points of Light award along with her twin sister and colleague Laura Coryton for their work on improving education.
In addition, both Laura and Julia have of course thoroughly enjoyed speaking with students in hundreds of schools across the country about consent, healthy relationships, periods, gender, sexuality and friendships.
2014 - Campaigning
2019 - The beginning of Sex Ed Matters
Sex Ed Matters was founded in response to launch of the new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum, which we believe has the power to tackle many societal problems including violence against women and girls, period stigma and gender stereotypes. Our founding team included Siân Green, teacher with experience at Goldman Sacs, Dr Augusta Ivory-Peters, academic and charity expert with experience at Cancer Research UK and Laura Coryton, author and activist.
Founders Siân Green, Augusta Ivory-Peters and Laura Coryton in 2019 meeting to launch Sex Ed Matters