The NSW Government has no specific policy for young parents or pregnant teenagers but told the Children’s Commissioner that ‘NSW public schools and staff work to develop local solutions to support the needs of students as required. Examples of adjustments to support pregnant and/or parenting students in schools include:
- leave from attendance before and/or after birth of baby
- flexible lesson timetables (ie starting or finishing later)
- option to complete year 11 or 12 over a period of up to five years
- distance education.
While there are organisations in NSW providing alternative schools and services for pregnant and parenting students we are unable to identify government secondary schools that adequately cater for their specific needs.
The NSW Government established The Schools as Community Centres program in 2014 – a prevention and early intervention cross agency initiative supporting families with young children from birth to 8 years of age and this may assist young parents.
The St Phillips Christian College operates a Young Parents’ School at their Wyong and Newcastle schools which have a program for young parents including flexible learning, onsite creche and connections with local agencies and services that provide parenting and other supports.