Anyway, my main reason for starting a blog, like I have said before, was because there isn't much for students on the internet when they find out they are expecting a baby. A baby is a big little 'thing'. Parents-to-be spend ages researching online, buying books, planning out expenses before their little one arrives. All of this material to help prepare for a baby to arrive is geared at parents who are working or on maternity leave. There is nothing for students.
It takes a long time to search to find out what you are entitled to financially and what education arrangements are allowed. It's a confusing and worrying time which is so pivotable to one's life - and their child and any others involved!!
It says in big bold red letters on the Norwegian Student Finance website: "If you are pregnant do not stop your education". Why is this not on our Student Finance website?! If I type in "Student Finance England student parents" to Google, this is what I get:
Any use of the word "parent" is in reference to the parent of the student. There is more information for the pushy over protective parents of 18/19 year olds than the students that could be parents!! None of these links give any help to students who are trying to research if they can stay in education. I must admit, each university does give their own form of advice. It is just one page long of generic information. I typed in "student parent Aberystwyth" (my own university) to see the results. The second result was suggesting WITHDRAWAL from my degree scheme. Just ?!?! I didn't find, from that search, an advice page for my own university. I haven't found one this year, if I remember back to when I was looking, I found one for staff, but not for students.
So I have come to the conclusion that a national organisation/charity/NGO is needed to support students. It is so important for the student that they continue their studies. I am by no means saying that they shouldn't drop out if they decide that they would rather look after their child. I am saying that these students need to make more informed choices. There needs to be a universal place, that students can access easily to help them along the way with their studies. This shouldn't be for just university, this should be for A Levels and GCSE's too. Obviously, I had my baby at university, so I do not know what is offered in those circumstances. But I do know that there is not a substantial, supportive and effective organisation to help.
If students can continue their education whilst bringing up a child then young parents will no longer be the "problem" it is perceived to be today.