Every pregnant young woman and young parent is supported to stay in school.
Pregnancy is not a reason for exclusion from school.
It is unlawful to exclude a pupil because of her pregnancy or maternity.
This guidance aims to set out why it is important to provide support, how that support could be provided and what needs to be taken into account when reaching decisions with the young person.
Why it's important to support young parents to remain in school
Parenthood is a positive experience for many young people. Good quality, integrated support for young parents and their families helps them to achieve positive outcomes for themselves and for their children. Education has a crucial role in contributing to improving the life-chances of all young people.
Supporting young people disclosing a pregnancy
A multi-agency approach to supporting young people around pregnancy, including disclosing of pregnancy is important. Each young person's situation will be unique and different supports will be required depending on their situation. The GIRFEC National Practice Model should be used when assessing need.
This resource focuses on supporting young people who have decided to continue with their pregnancy ensuring they remain supported to continue with their education into parenthood. Young people who disclose their pregnancy to school and who choose other options will also be supported throughout.
Through multi-agency working with the young person, organisations can provide the young person with the tailored support that is required. Assessment and planning can be delivered through the GIRFEC National Practice Model. Templates are included in this guidance which make suggestions on what needs to be considered. Copies should be given to the young person for agreement so that they can refer to what has been put in place and ask for adjustments as required.
Planning pregnancy and parenthood support for young people at school
Ongoing communication throughout the pregnancy will help the young person adapt to their new circumstances in school.
However, working with the young person to consider their needs through a series of regular meetings will help ensure the proper support is provided. It will also enable adjustments to be made when circumstances alter over the course of the pregnancy.
Who should be involved?
Involve only essential people at meetings to avoid the young person/people feeling overwhelmed. The young person should be asked who they would like to attend to support them for example family or carer. Many young people will have a Family Nurse, who will be an important part of these meetings.
It's important to note that not all young people have the same family support network in place. In such cases, it's essential that the young person is supported by trusted adults with whom they have existing, established relationships.