Female teachers at an Academy Trust will be allowed to work part-time to cope with the effects of menopause as part of a range of new measures to help them.
The Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust (GFM), made up of five schools on the south coast of England, has published advice on how to support staff during change.
Another help will be for staff to have fans in classrooms to combat hot flashes and toilet breaks during lessons when needed.
Classes will be kept cool while staff will also have time off to attend medical appointments and have the option of working part-time while coping with symptoms.
It comes after a series of high profile women including Davina McCall, Kirsty Wark and Mariella Frostrup publicly discussed their experiences.
The average age of women who reach menopause is 51, although around 1 in 100 experience it before the age of 40. It is estimated that 2.5 million women are currently going through menopause in the UK.
Schools say they try to create an environment where female staff are comfortable discussing what’s going on with their bodies and asking managers for support.
Human resources executive director Marie Smith, who helped create the guidelines, says the topic is not openly discussed in the workplace.
She said: “It’s the little things that make a big difference. Being sensitive to women’s experience and creating an open and honest environment is the minimum we should expect.
“There are many employment rights for protected groups and rightly so. I also think this should extend to women, in this case those going through menopause.
“I am aware of the emotional and physical impact perimenopause can have on my colleagues and the strain it can put on the body and mental health.
“It’s become a banned topic in the workplace because many women feel embarrassed to talk about it publicly.
“Women are often criticized or feel inadequate if their performance declines at work. This can cause them to quit or change jobs.
“It’s something that affects millions of women, but there’s still a huge taboo. We need better understanding and education to change that.
“It’s sort of advice on menopause, but it’s also about extending rights and protection to an often overlooked group in society.”
Other symptoms of menopause include night sweats, irritability, anxiety, depression, and loss of confidence.