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Teen mums uncover new classroom soon after schools turn them away

Posted December 11, 2015 09:38:47

Young mothers Photo: Young mothers Jessica, 19, Sasha, 18, and Rebecca, 22, have received their year 11 VCAL certificates even though studying in a Melbourne City Mission classroom for mums and bubs. (ABC Local: Clare Rawlinson)
Map: Melbourne 3000

A group of teenage mothers in Melbourne has graduated year 11 by way of a specially tailored classroom soon after being turned away by their higher schools.

The mums and bubs classroom run by Melbourne City Mission provides a versatile understanding atmosphere with cots, modify tables and toys alongside students’ desks.

Sasha, 18, said she would not have been capable to continue her education in a mainstream school simply because of stigma and a lack of help.

“Upon telling my school I was pregnant, I was asked to leave simply because they felt they could not cater to my predicament,” she stated.

“That threw me in the deep finish … but I was determined to continue my education.”

My son is seeking up at me now as his function model so I do not want him to be disappointed in me.

Jessica, 19, year 11 graduate and mother

The judgment that came with her pregnancy at the age of 16, Sasha believes, contributed to a period of post-natal depression.

An additional student, 19-year-old Jessica, said she was only in a position to continue her education since of the specialised classroom.

Jessica was 15 when she became pregnant and she mentioned it was the wake-up call she necessary to finish her schooling.

“Obviously I didn’t strategy to get pregnant but I wouldn’t alter it for the planet,” she mentioned.

“If I did not get pregnant I would have been a dropout doing absolutely nothing with life.

“My son is hunting up at me now as his role model so I do not want him to be disappointed in me.”

Each student at the mums and bubs classroom has a personal education strategy and a support worker on hand for their kids whilst in class.

Calls for education policy to support teenage mothers

About 25,000 teenagers turn into pregnant in Australia every year.

But according to the Brave Foundation for young mothers, mainstream schools have a lengthy way to go towards supporting them.

Brave Foundation chief executive Bernadette Black mentioned teenage mothers were 40 per cent less likely to finish year 12 and 54 per cent less most likely to uncover employment.

Stigma and shame were major contributors to social isolation and post-natal depression, said Ms Black who herself became pregnant at 16.

Bernadette Black at age 17, with son Damien in 2003. Photo: Bernadette Black at age 17 with her son Damien in 1993. (Supplied)

In 1 South Australian higher school, a principal looking for guidance from the Brave Foundation proposed to send a letter to all parents at the college apologising for one student’s pregnancy.

Ms Black mentioned reactions like that were often grounded in a belief that supporting young mums would glamorise teen pregnancy.

“Data shows those who get assistance and acceptance have greater outcomes, and the incidence [of teenage pregnancy] really decreased when there was a assistance plan in a secondary school,” she said.

“The children around the system actually saw what a large slog it was to go to college with a infant.”

A spokesman for Victoria’s Department of Education, Steve Tolley, stated students who did not receive assistance from their schools although pregnant must report the matter to the department. 

Mr Tolley stated pregnant or parenting students have the correct to continue schooling, but need to offer a medical certificate endorsing their attendance soon after 35 weeks gestation.

He added the division supported versatile finding out and distance education choices for teenage mothers.

But the Brave Foundation is campaigning for the creation of a far more complete education policy for young mums.

Jessica said that she wished there had been a mainstream college willing to be supportive of her pregnancy.

“Providing us methods to cope isn’t condoning young girls to go out and get pregnant,” she said.

“It really is giving the girls who did get pregnant the opportunities to go out and make the very best of what’s happened, so we will not be these stereotypical young mums that do not do something.”

Topics: education, pregnancy-and-childbirth, youth, access-to-education, secondary-schools, schools, parenting, loved ones-and-young children, ladies, melbourne-3000, australia

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