Queensland Government advice to students
The [Education] department is committed to supporting the retention of pregnant and parenting students in schools and acknowledges that one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of negative outcomes in terms of health, welfare and educational achievement is to support pregnant young women and young parents to remain connected to learning.
Government guidelines for schools warn that:
Pregnancy and parental status are two attributes covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act (Queensland) 1991 (the Act). Principals and other managers need to be aware of the unlawful nature of discrimination against students who are pregnant and students who are parents and the implications for contravention of the Act through the vicarious liability provision.
This means that if you want to stay or return to school you have the right to do so and the school must enrol you and support you to do this. Schools have to provide appropriate arrangements to support pregnant and parenting students to complete their education through flexibility in classroom and school management, curriculum design, and teaching and learning strategies, dress codes and temporary alterations in attendance. Schools should also maintain contact with pregnant and parenting young people, promote awareness of pathways and establish a network of support services for them.
The [Education] department recognises that young parents and especially young mothers who leave school early face greater hardship and poverty than young people who complete their education. Therefore, enhancing educational opportunities and improving outcomes for all students remains a priority. See more here.
Burnside State High School STEMM – award-winning program that supports pregnant teenagers and young mothers through education, mothering, and mentoring. As part of the program, participants can study subjects from USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway Program (TPP) to prepare for university, Certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care or choose to study Independently. It has onsite Adjunct Care and links to Queensland Health Maternity Services and it’s own GP. Contact Jacqui Deane or Janelle Logan on 54597376 or 0447202061 for further information. See here a news item on impressive STEMM graduates.
Ipswich State High School – runs Young Families Connect Program – a partnership with Mission Australia’s Communities for Children – providing tailored education support with flexible delivery of learning to assist young parents to complete a Qld Certificate of Education or certified competency-based training. It has an onsite child care centre (Millen Kully Moolum) and links to KAMBU Health and other agencies. It caters for 20 young mums from the Ipswich Region. Contact Corinne Harper or Erin Sell on 07 3813 4488 or 0467 728 301 or email email@example.com (see also our post, 28 May 2016)
Cape York Girl Academy Supports Indigenous girls to re-engage with, and complete their education by attaining either a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) award.
Teenage pregnancy is one of the most common reasons for Cape York girls dropping out of school. Through yarning circles and community consultations, Cape York women asked for a place for girls to finish their schooling, to gain work skills and qualifications, and to grow themselves and their children as future family role models. Girl Academy is Australia’s first boarding school designed for young mothers and their babies, and for girls who have been chronically disengaged from their education. Mothers and babies live together and learn together. Non-mothering students also live and learn at the Girl Academy. All students are supported by caring staff and surrounded by friends and visiting family.
Girl Academy is a healing community that nurtures and supports effective and confident mothers, safe and happy children, and young Indigenous women through opportunities for growth, a sense of belonging, and a space to find their voices. See here and here for their fundraising campaigns.
Southside Family Centre and Creche provides on-site early education, child care and family support services to students attending school at Carinity Education – Southside in Sunnybank, Brisbane. Email Judith.Nicolay@carinity.org.au or phone (07) 3344 1056.
Edmund Rice Education Australia – Albert Park Flexible Learning Centre Brisbane offering formal education in English, maths, performance, living skills, music and art to young people aged 14 to 25 and encourages young parents to enroll.
Schools that no longer run programs for young parents
Deception Bay State High School ASPIRE (Actively Supporting Parents with Infants to Re-engage in Education) – a flexible educational program designed to support young mums and pregnant girls between 15 and up to 21 on graduation to successfully complete their Queensland Certificate of Education at the end of year 12.