Present Pregnant and Proud

Keeping pregnant students and young mums in education.
by Kay Boulden

What is it like to be a pregnant or parenting student at an Australian School?
What do schools do about pregnant and parenting students?
What should schools do?

In Australia in 1997 there were 13,137 teenage births to young women under 19 years of age. Studies indicate that some girls are more likely than others to carry their pregnancies to full term, especially girls from low socio-economic backgrounds, Indigenous girls, girls unsupported by partners or parents, and girls from geographically isolated areas.

Currently, few girls who continue their pregnancies ever complete high school. This is often because schools do not make it clear that pregnant and parenting students are welcome, and pregnant and parenting students do not know about what support mechanisms are available from schools. Students who leave school early become invisible in our education systems, suffering long-term impacts on their life outcomes in terms of further education opportunities, employment, and financial security.

Present pregnant and proud explores what schools can do and documents good examples of schools around Australia. These schools provide a showcase of outstanding achievement of innovation and social justice in the retention of pregnant and parenting students in education.

Present pregnant and proud offers a model policy for schools and systems and provides recommendations for further action.

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