"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.

Appendix B SEEMIS: Recording absence in relation to pregnancy and parenthood

Whilst it's important that young pregnant women/young parents maintain their attendance at school through pregnancy and parenthood there will, of course, be times when they are unable to attend due to health care appointments, pregnancy related ill health, maternity leave or sickness of the baby/child etc.

In order to maintain consistency of recording, the following codes for recording pregnancy and parenthood related absence are suggested below.

Further information and guidance on school attendance is available at https://www.gov.scot/publications/included-engaged-involved-part-1-positive-approach-promotion-management-attendance-scottish-schools/pages/2/.

Attendance/Absence Reason

Attendance/Absence Code

Notes on completion

Authorised/ Unauthorised absence



This code can be used to record attendance when a young person has a reduced or part time timetable, so they may not be on school premises but are considered to be attending when necessary and required.


  • Attendance at school
  • Learning outwith the school provided by a college or other learning provider while still on the roll of the school
  • Educational visits, day and residential visits to outdoor centres
  • Interviews and visits relating to further and higher education or careers events
  • Debates, sports, musical or drama activities in conjunction with the school
  • Study leave for pupils participating in national exams, if arranged by the school during the period of the national examination timetable
  • Receiving tuition via hospital or outreach teaching services


Sickness with educational provision


This code can be used to record a young woman's period of Maternity Leave.

This may include time spent on sick leave or maternity leave, with parental confirmation or medical certificate, and where adequate educational provision has been made.

Guidance on Education of Children Absent from school through Ill-health. https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/06/6846


Sickness with no education provision


This code can be used to record a young woman's pregnancy related sickness, for example 'morning sickness'.

This would include any time where a pupil is off sick, with parental confirmation or medical certificate, and section 14 of Education (Scotland) Act 1980 is not applicable. See Guidance on Education of Children Absent from school through Ill-health. https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/06/6846


Exceptional domestic circumstances (authorised)


This code can be used to record when a young person is not attending school due to the sickness of their child.

This relates to short-term exceptional domestic circumstances. Absences related to short-term exceptional domestic circumstances can be classified as either authorised or unauthorised absence. Authorised absence under this heading covers situations such as:

  • the period immediately after an accident or illness
  • a period of serious or critical illness of a close relative
  • a domestic crisis which causes serious disruption to the family home, causing temporary relocation


Medical and dental


This code can be used to record health care appointments in relation to pregnancy, e.g. antenatal care or in relation to the baby e.g. appointment with the health visitor.

Attendance at medical and dental appointments.

See 5.3 Medical and Dental appointments. For those recording period by period, any opening that contains at least 1 session of attendance will be converted to 'attendance' for statistical purposes. For schools with one registration per opening, a medical and dental recording should be recorded as 'attendance' if the child or young person attends for any part of the opening, for statistical purposes.

It is assumed that the school will note the fact that the child or young person was not in attendance for the full opening, for legal purposes.


Support for young pregnant women and young parents



Family Support Directory https://www.parentclub.scot/family-support-directory

Information aimed at young parents

Little Lullaby https://littlelullaby.org.uk/

Ping https://young.scot/campaigns/national/ping

Family Nurse Partnership

FNP Blog https://blogs.gov.scot/family-nurse-partnership/

'Becoming the mum I want to be' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFa1QYqpbAo

Resources for parents

Baby Box https://www.parentclub.scot/baby-box

Income Maximisation

Money Talk https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/debt-and-money/other-resources-related-to-debt-and-money/money-talk-team-s/

EMA https://www.mygov.scot/ema/applying-for-or-renewing-ema/

Scottish Welfare Fund https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund/

Child Poverty Action Group Financial Help for Young Parents https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/resources/factsheet/financial-help-young-parents


Young people at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, can obtain help and advice from Shelter https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice or they can be supported in accessing this free helpline https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/about_us/contact_us/call_our_free_helpline?referral=contact_us

Support is also available from Citizens Advice Scotland https://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux


Parent Club https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/feeding?age=2

Pregnancy and Baby Loss

Miscarriage Association https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/

SCIM (Scottish Care and Information on Miscarriage) https://www.miscarriagesupport.org.uk/

Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) https://www.sands.org.uk/

SiMBA https://www.simbacharity.org.uk/

Scottish Cot Death Trust https://scottishcotdeathtrust.org/

Support for young people on abortion


Independent Advocacy



Email: rebecca.herbert@gov.scot

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