"Someone to talk to and Someone to listen" - Supporting young pregnant women and young parents in school

Every pregnant young woman and young parent should be supported to stay in school. 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.

2. Aim of this resource

We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential[3]

"How can pregnant women even stay at school? I didn't think it was possible…"

As per Article 28 of the UNCRC, every child has the right to education. Recognising the impact that disrupted or discontinued education can have on the future life-chances of the young person and their child, the focus of this resource is on the educational and wellbeing needs of young pregnant women and young parents (mothers and fathers) who are in school.

To successfully achieve this aim, it is important to ensure that:

  • Young pregnant women, and young parents, know that pregnancy and parenthood is not a barrier to education or to remaining in school.
  • Young people are encouraged to remain involved in education during pregnancy and in the post-birth period.
  • Young pregnant women and young parents views are heard and respected.
  • Young pregnant women/young parents are helped back into learning, and into the school community, particularly if they were disengaged from school prior to pregnancy.

The Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) approach should always underpin support to ensure that young pregnant women and young parents can secure the right support at the right time from the right people, and remain as fully integrated in the school community as possible, as well as being mindful of their needs as a young parent and young person.

Schools support young people with a range of experiences that may be traumatic and staff need the confidence and skill to respond appropriately. NHS Education for Scotland (NES) have developed the National Trauma Training Framework[4], which supports the development of trauma skilled practice. Any member of staff who is trauma informed trained should be able to recognise where people are affected by trauma and adversity, and be able to respond in ways that improve life-chances.


Email: rebecca.herbert@gov.scot

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