11. What support and facilities are available for a student who has recently become a parent?

Contents of this webpage

 

Introduction

Whilst the procedure proposed in section 6 above relates to a student during pregnancy, this also provides a helpful model for considering flexibility for a student who has recently become a parent, including through adoption. As above, what constitutes a reasonable degree of flexibility to take account of a student’s caring/parental responsibilities will vary from Faculty to Faculty and from programme to programme [1].  The University has developed a separate policy on support for students who are parents or carers which covers this in more detail.

There are also sources of practical support available, administered by either the University or LUU, to assist parents with the costs associated with studying at this University. (Links to more information about these funds are provided in section 12)

[1] The same services that are referred to in section 3 and section 6 of this document (i.e. Equality & Inclusion Unit for staff members and a range of different support services, such as the LUU Student Advice Centre, for students) are also open to staff and students who are seeking advice about the implications of a student’s new parental responsibilities for their studies.

 

Bringing children onto campus

Students may be accompanied by children in general public areas such as the refectory, or in one-to-one tutorials if the tutor permits.  Children brought onto the campus are the responsibility of the adult who brings them and must be supervised at all times.  From a Health and Safety perspective, the University environment is not, in general, designed for, nor does it take specific account of, the needs of young children and toddlers; therefore  close and continuous supervision by the parent / carer will be required at all times.  Under no circumstances should children be brought into areas where there is the possibility of a risk to health and safety (notable examples would include laboratories and workshops) unless specific authorised approval has been given by an authorised member of the relevant School, in relation to an individual proposed entry.

Parents are allowed to bring their children into the University Library for a short time providing that they are supervised at all times. The University Library cannot be held responsible for what might happen to an unattended child in University Library buildings.  There are silent study areas that are unsuitable for children to use. If a child causes disruption to other University Library users the parent and child may be asked to leave. The libraries may house materials on open access shelves or have available on PCs that some parents would find unsuitable for their children to see.

Parents are able to take children swimming at The Edge, where a specific family swimming session is held on Sundays from 12.30pm – 3.30pm, with a defined shallow end, segregated from deeper water.  Children are welcome at all other times that the pool is open for general swimming but parents should note that in there will be a smaller shallow end, without clear division from deeper water.  There are also times when swimming is in deep water only. An up to date timetable is available on the University of Leeds sport webpage.

Students should not normally bring their child with them into any public teaching and research areas – such as lecture theatres, seminar or teaching rooms, laboratories or shared work spaces – and so they will need to make arrangements for the care of their child whilst they are in these locations. (See Section 12 for details of the University childcare centre, called Bright Beginnings, which provides a service for children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years.)

 

Breastfeeding facilities on campus

Whilst there are no restrictions on feeding (bottle feeding or breastfeeding) at the University, there are currently no specific facilities available for these purposes or for the preparation of food or expression of milk. Should a student require a private space for these purposes, they can speak to their School/Faculty (normally their personal tutor/research supervisor) who should endeavour to provide a private, safe area for the student’s use.  If a birth parent intends to feed their child regularly in a space provided by the School/Faculty, a further health and safety risk assessment should be considered.  If requested, rest facilities will, where possible, be provided which are near to toilets and which include the facility to lie down.

Leeds University Union supports the City of Leeds’ initiative to become the first breastfeeding friendly city in Europe and the Advice Centre will make available one of the guidance rooms on request. The Advice Centre is located on the first floor of the Leeds University Union building in the centre of the campus.

The Lifelong Learning Centre in the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building welcomes student parents and will make a quiet room available for their use if possible.

Bright Beginnings childcare centre may also be able to make suitable facilities available by arrangement (see Section 12 for contact details).

Emergency short term child care

In some circumstances, Bright Beginnings childcare centre may be able to provide emergency support for parents who have need for short term emergency childcare; for example in the event of their regular childcare provider being ill, or for students who need to take examinations and have no other childcare cover (see Section 12 for contact details).

Accommodation

The University has a small number of flats suitable for family accommodation, although there is generally a waiting list for these.  For more information, students should contact the Staff and Family Accommodation Co-ordinator in Accommodation Services, who can also provide advice to students about finding non-University owned family accommodation.

Some University accommodation will be unsuitable for children, or may, in some circumstances, be difficult for someone in the later stages of pregnancy to access.  If a student wishes to discuss such issues, they should approach the relevant Warden or Accommodation Services in the first instance.  Pregnant students may also consider disclosing their pregnancy to the relevant Warden if they are concerned that they may need support in an emergency situation, such as early labour or miscarriage.