Each year around 40,000 young women become mums and most of these pregnancies are unplanned. It's not an unusual thing to happen so there are lots of places to go for help.
Support if you’re pregnant and still at school
Your pregnancy is not a reason for you to be excluded from school. Your local authority has a duty to provide education for young people of compulsory school age who become parents.
This education must be suitable for you. You, your parents or carers and your school must be consulted to put together a package suitable to your age, ability and particular individual needs.
As a young parent, you, your parents or carers should receive specialist advice, guidance, information and support. This help will often be offered by a Connexions Personal Adviser, Teenage Pregnancy Adviser or Reintegration Officer who will work with you to co-ordinate a tailored education support package.
In some areas, education is delivered at home and overseen by your school - work will be set and marked and a home tutor will provide support.
It may also be possible for a place to be found for you at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) or Young Mothers Unit (YMU) where support will be given so you can continue with your schoolwork, sometimes allowing you to return to school if you wish.
If you become pregnant in Year 11, you'll be encouraged to continue in education to complete your exam courses. Where it isn't practical for you to return to your school, you may be able to continue learning at a Pupil Referral Unit or Young Mothers Unit. These Units work in partnership with schools to help you complete your GCSE courses.
Your Connexions Personal Adviser, Teenage Pregnancy Adviser or Teenage Pregnancy Reintegration Worker will be able to give you more information, advice and guidance about the support that is available to you in your area.
Your plans for the future
Once you’re home with your baby and you have settled into a routine, you’ll probably start thinking about what to do next. You might think that having a baby would stop you from continuing in learning and taking up other training and employment opportunities.
Schools, colleges and training providers actually make every effort to arrange for you to attend a course that's suitable for your individual needs and will be as flexible as possible about the days and times you attend to help you manage your learning and childcare and your Connexions Personal Adviser can help you look at all the options.
Why continue in learning?
Doing a course or training will help build a better future for you and your child. It will also help you to:
- Develop new skills and confidence
- Improve your chances of getting a job
- Mix with other people
- Get out and about
- Become more independent
- Get new qualifications
Things to think about
- What subjects are you good at?
- What subjects do you enjoy?
- What childcare is available?
- Would you like to study something new?
- Will the course structure suit you?
- How is the course taught?
- Can you organise yourself?
- What qualifications will you have?
What learning is available?
- Courses in schools, sixth forms, sixth form colleges, further education colleges and learning providers
- Foundation Learning courses include training in a range of different skills and opportunities that can be tailored to suit you
- Apprenticeships and National Vocational Qualifications offering non-employed status training that will prepare you for work
Not all courses are run in schools or colleges or are linked to qualifications. There may be a more suitable course run by another provider that you might prefer to try, eg, at Pupil Referral Units and Young Mothers Units. You may want to learn more about caring for your child or how to improve your basic skills. You may prefer a more practical course or need to do some refresher courses.
Children's centres are for children under five and their families.
Each children’s centre is different but they all provide a range of support and activities aimed at getting your child the best start in life:
- Gateshead Council Children's Centres
- South Tyneside Children's Centres
- Sunderland Children's Centres
- Sure Start children's centres Newcastle
- Sure Start children's centres North Tyneside
For more information
Your Connexions Personal Adviser can tell you what’s available and help you decide what’s best for you.
Learn Direct offer flexible courses that you can study at a local centre or from home or work if you have access to the Internet. Call Freephone 0800 101 901 between 7am-11pm seven days a week.