You are on page 1of 4

Pregnancy

during your studies


Letting your department know It is very important that you let your Programme Director(s) at the University know that you are pregnant as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be put in place to enable you to best manage your pregnancy together with the demands of your academic studies, coursework assignments and any examinations you may have. These arrangements will also need to take into account any time out from your studies that you may need after the baby is born. Should you need advice on how to approach this matter with your Programme Director(s), you can seek advice from the Student Health and Wellbeing or the Students Union Welfare Team. Once you have informed your teaching department(s), you will need to discuss with them any possible risks to your health associated with your studies. You should ask your GP about this when you first go and see them. Health and Safety Considerations You will need to complete a Risk Assessment form for the University. This will help to identify any relevant risks associated with your study programme (some programmes at the University may have risks associated with: significant physical activity, including lifting and carrying; the use of chemicals, paints or clays; exposure to radiation) and to manage these risks for you and your unborn childs protection. The Risk Assessment form is accompanied by advice on how to complete it. Once the form is completed, the student and their Programme Director should each keep a copy for their records. If there are any issues of particular concern then the Programme Director can seek advice from the University's Health and Safety Adviser (in the University Solicitor's Office). Absence from your studies Should you need to be away from your studies for any medical reason related to your pregnancy (including miscarriage and termination), you should let your teaching department(s) (and any placement, if appropriate) know about it you do not have to give details but need only say that you will be absent for medical reasons. If illness/misfortune has resulted in you being absent from your studies for a period of time, and you wish this to be considered by the Board of Examiners, you should complete an Extenuating Circumstances Request form.

For absence from your studies for any other reasons (for example, attendance at ante-natal clinics), you should complete the online Leave of Absence Proforma. In any case, you would not normally be expected to attend university during the four weeks immediately preceding, and for one month after, the birth of your child. For students on programmes leading to professional recognition, there may be implications for your programme if you are absent from your studies for any period of time. You will need to discuss this with your Programme Director at the earliest opportunity. Interrupting your studies You may wish to interrupt your studies in order to take a longer break whilst pregnant and when your child is still young. In deciding whether to do this, it is important to make a plan to take account both of the academic requirements of your study programme and your needs as a pregnant woman and mother of a new baby. Normally, you can interrupt your studies for a maximum period of two years, but you should discuss your options with your Programme Director(s) and with the Academic Registrar, who will be able to advise you of the appropriate University procedures and regulations for interrupting your studies. In addition, you may need to notify your Student Loans Company and, if you are in receipt of a bursary, your bursary provider, if you interrupt your studies. Please use the Change of Academic Circumstances for if you wish to interrupt your studies. Year Abroad If you become pregnant whilst on a study year abroad, you must contact the University to make appropriate plans to ensure that your health is safeguarded and your academic progress is properly managed. Contact your Programme Director in the first instance. Financial Matters Your Student Loan can continue for up to 60 days from the beginning of any period of interruption of your studies. You will, however, need to inform the Student Loans Company of your circumstances. You will also need to apply for maternity benefit, and information about this can be obtained through your ante-natal clinic or from the Student Financial Support Administrators at the University, who can also help you with your approach to the Student Loan Company. Graduate students in receipt of Research Council or other awards should contact the sponsor and make arrangements for the suspension of the award during the period of interruption. NHS students can still receive their bursary for the period of their maternity leave; please contact your teaching department to complete the form required to arrange the maternity bursary. Overseas students are unlikely to be entitled to any maternity benefits in the UK and, unless they have sufficient funds to remain in the country and support themselves, they may wish to consider interrupting their studies and returning home to have their baby. Overseas students who have financial sponsors should inform the sponsors of their circumstances and agree an appropriate plan of action with them. Overseas students who return home for the birth of the child should note that most airlines will not carry pregnant passengers beyond the 7th month of pregnancy. Also, overseas students

returning home should arrange for continuing ante-natal care in their home country and take with them details of any care they have received in the UK. There is a variety of financial help available to eligible students with babies and young children. This help includes Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits. The Student Financial Support Administrators will be able to give you advice on what to do to apply for this support. University Accommodation Pregnant students living in university accommodation should appreciate that their accommodation licence is for single occupancy only. Please contact the Accommodation Services Manager to discuss your circumstances at the earliest opportunity once you know when you baby is due. Childcare If you are entitled to help with financial support for childcare from either the NHS (students receiving NHS bursaries) or Student Finance England (students receiving fees support and Student Loans) or through Tax Credits (any student with children), you will need to use OFSTED registered childcare in order to claim support. These means of support are not available if you opt to use unregistered childcare (eg your parents, family or friends, unless they are registered with OFSTED). Any person who is the parent or legal guardian of a child under 16 years (or 18 years if in full-time education) can claim Child Benefit. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the government department responsible for paying Child Benefit and you should claim this as soon as your child is born or comes to live with you. If you delay, you may lose benefits. You can get a claim pack by contacting the Child Benefit Office. Returning to your studies Let your teaching department(s) know when you are ready to return, and plan with your Programme Director the optimum timetable for your re-integration into your programme of study, including any examination schedules. For most students, returning from an interruption will mean restarting the academic year. You must notify the Academic Registrar and then re-register on your programme before returning; this is to ensure that your University record is updated to indicate that you are back on your programme. Breast feeding The University will seek to provide appropriate facilities for mothers who are breastfeeding their babies and who need to express milk whilst attending the University. These facilities will be of as high a standard as possible wherever they are needed. It will help the university to support you in this respect if you discuss any necessary arrangements with us at the earliest opportunity, and as far in advance of when facilities will be required as possible. Students who need advice in this respect should contact the Student Health and Wellbeing department, or the Equality and Diversity Manager in the first instance.

Babies and Children on University Premises Information relating to the presence of babies, children and young people on university premises is provided by the University Solicitor's Office and is available under Section 13 of the institutions Under 18s Policy. Useful Contacts Student Counselling Service: email counselling@canterbury.ac.uk, 01227 863056. Student Health Service: email occupational.health@canterbury.ac.uk, 01227 782267 Student Health and Wellbeing: email studentsupport@canterbury.ac.uk, Student Support Officer: email yasmin.ghandour@canterbury.ac.uk, 01227 782803. Student Financial Support Administrators: email studentfinancialsupport@canterbury.ac.uk, 01227 782783 Students Union Welfare Team: (SU VP Education and Welfare), email su.support@canterbury.ac.uk, 01227 782518. Child Benefit: Telephone 0300 200 3100, Textphone 0300 200 3103 Tax Credits: Telephone 0345 300 3900, Textphone 0345 3003909