The following extract is taken from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website:

If a pupil cannot attend school because of pregnancy, the LEA still has a duty to provide suitable alternative education, under section 19 of the Education Act 1996. ‘Suitable education’ is defined by section 19(6) as efficient education suitable to the age, ability, aptitude and to any special educational needs the child or young person may have.’ Lack of resources is not a sufficient reason for the LEA to fail to provide suitable alternative education.

Pregnancy cannot be used as a reason for exclusion. Health and safety should not be used as a reason to prevent a pregnant pupil attending school. The school’s aim should be to keep the pregnant pupil or school age mother in learning. This means keeping the pupil on the school roll, even if she may not be able to attend for a period of time; keeping up to date with her progress and working with the LEA looking for a suitable time to re-integrate her into the school.  A pupil who becomes pregnant is entitled to 18 calendar weeks’ authorised absence to cover the time immediately before and after the birth of the child.

For more information on your rights click on the following links:

Questions about becoming a parent

What the law says about education

The consultation version of the 2010 Equality Act stated:

An education provider should not treat a pregnant woman or a new mother worse than they would treat a man or a non-pregnant woman.

It is not sex discrimination against a man to make special provision for a woman in connection with her pregnancy or maternity.

Flexibility in course provision and child care:

In order to ensure that course provision meets the needs of all students and potential students, HEIs should consider the impact that parenting and caring responsibilities have on women’s and men’s ability to engage in higher education.

Courses that are delivered flexibly will enable women and men with caring responsibilities to access FE and HE.  Provision that fits in with their caring responsibilities and affordable childcare on or nearby campus, can assist in widening participation.

You are permitted to provide (or make arrangements for or facilitate) childcare for your students’ children.  This includes all kinds of assistance with childcare including paying for it, subsidising it, or enabling students to spend more time caring for their child.
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