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Guide for Parents
Guide for Parents

The university has a written policy for Pregnant Students and New Parents. The full policy booklet can be accessed via this link.

Do I need to tell the university that I am pregnant?

You are not under any obligation to inform your school if you become pregnant, have a child, experience a miscarriage or terminate a pregnancy unless you are doing a course or embarking on a placement where there may be health and safety concerns for either yourself or your unborn child.

However, if you need to be absent during teaching weeks, assessments or examinations then you will need to inform your school by the 15th week before your expected due date.

It is advisable to speak with a trusted member of staff (ideally your personal tutor) about your pregnancy so that any necessary adjustments can be made and so that the university can take a flexible approach to your programme of study and provide support to you.

What support is available to me during my pregnancy?

Ask for a meeting with your Personal Tutor or a trusted member of staff. You can make a request to speak with a female member of staff about your support needs if you prefer.

As soon as you inform the university about your pregnancy, a risk assessment will be undertaken to make sure that your programme of study doesn’t present any risks to you or your unborn child. Every effort should be made by your school to manage Health and Safety risks and find alternative ways of allowing you to continue your course.

You can make an appointment with a member of the wellbeing team to discuss any concerns that you have and to try to find solutions so that you can complete your programme of study.

Time off during pregnancy and meeting deadlines

Discuss your needs with your tutor and agree a continuation of study plan:

Agree periods of absences – your school should arrange – wherever practicable – for you to catch up on missed lectures / tutorials for pregnancy and birth related reasons and to exercise discretion with regards to your absence record

They should look at adjusting timescales/deadlines for coursework and help you to complete EC’s.

The agreed plan will be signed by your tutor and it is their responsibility to make sure that all relevant teaching staff are made aware of the arrangements that have been agreed. You can request further meetings with your Personal Tutor especially if you are experiencing any difficulties with the plan.

The reasons for declining any request must be presented to you in writing as part of your support plan.

How much time off can I take?

You must take at least 2 weeks off after giving birth for health and safety reasons.

You can request maternity absence of upto 4 weeks if you are on an undergraduate course or Post Grad taught course – or upto 6 weeks if you are a research student.

If you would like any additional time off, you will need to consider suspending your studies. Discuss the implications of this with your personal tutor and the University Finance Office.

Returning to your Studies

The university will accommodate each student as far as practicable to allow you to complete your programme of study, providing academic standards are upheld.

If you need to plan your childcare around your studies, then you should contact your school support office. They may be able to help you with timetable planning and guidance. A link to the person to contact can be found here: https://students.hud.ac.uk/wellbeing-disability-services/wellbeingservices/student-parents/

Childcare

It is important to find the right childcare for you and your child. The local council provide a list of Ofsted Registered Childcare providers from Childminders to Nurseries to pre-school playgroups.

It is important to visit the childcare provider to get a feel for the place and the staff and observe how they interact with the children. Have a list of important questions ready, for example, is there any flexibility with additional days etc to work around assignment hand in dates and exams etc.

International Students

Speak with the university International Office to find out how this will impact on your visa.

Financial Support for Pregnant Students and Students with Children

See our separate guide: Guide for pregnant students – financial

The SU advice team can discuss your options and guide you through the process.

If you are dissatisfied with the support provided:

You can speak to your school support office to discuss your concerns and to see whether a local resolution can be found.

You can also consider putting in a formal complaint if you are dissatisfied with the level of flexibility shown by your school.

Useful Links

  1. Gingerbread - advice for single parents
  2. Student parents - general advice about your education
  3. The University of Huddersfield Wellbeing Service or visit ipoint / telephone 01484 471001 to make an appointment
  4. Brook Advisory Centre - sexual health and wellbeing experts
  5. Marie Stopes International Leeds Centre - unplanned pregnancy 

Contact us at advice-centre@hud.ac.uk or by phoning 01484 473446  to book an appointment.