More support for pregnant students and student parents/carers

Two new policies have been introduced to help colleagues support students who become pregnant or who have caring responsibilities for young children or dependent adults.

“The University believes that being pregnant, being a parent or having caring responsibilities should not, in themselves, be a barrier to a student starting and successfully completing a programme of study,” explains Kathy Aveyard, Equality Service. “We revised and updated the policy for supporting pregnant students in response to feedback from staff and students. The policy for helping student carers is new and brings together comprehensive guidelines in one document.

The policies were developed on behalf of the Taught Student Education Board and state our commitment to supporting students in these circumstances. They provide guidelines for students and staff on how they can be appropriately supported throughout their programme of study, whilst not compromising academic standards.

Both policies were developed by a working group which included members of the Equality Service, Leeds University Union officers, student parents, the Student Advice Centre, academic staff, the Lifelong Learning Centre and Safety Services. A range of key stakeholders were also consulted on special circumstances, for example, the particular needs of postgraduate students, international students and students who hope to study abroad.

Copies of the policies and guidelines are available on the Equality Service website. The University’s Equality and Diversity Managers are also available to help staff decide how best to support students in these circumstances.

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