3. Does a student need to notify the School/Faculty of their pregnancy?

Please note that it is particularly important that a student informs the School/Faculty [1] at an early stage of a pregnancy where there is a potential risk to the health and safety of the student and/or their child (see below). The School or Faculty should then carry out a risk assessment as soon as possible to minimise any potential risk.

Students are not under any obligation to inform their School/Faculty if they become pregnant, have a child, or decide to terminate a pregnancy whilst they are a student here. However, it is important to note that a School/Faculty will not be able to take a flexible approach to the programme of study, or provide specific support to the student, unless it knows about the situation. If requested, the School/Faculty will identify an appropriate member of staff to discuss such support needs.

Whilst making a decision on whether or not to inform their School/Faculty, students are encouraged to consider the following:

  • There may be elements of a programme of study that could present a health and safety risk to a pregnant student and/or their child [2]. A student’s School/Faculty will not be able to arrange appropriate risk assessments unless it is aware of their pregnancy.
  • If a student’s pregnancy-related absence (for example, for antenatal appointments) impacts significantly on the student’s studies, the School/Faculty will only be able to take proper account of the reasons for absence if they are notified of these [3].
  • In some cases, a student’s pregnancy-related absence from University might be something that needs to be discussed with other organisations. For example, if a postgraduate research student is in receipt of a University or Departmental Scholarship or funding from a Research Council or other external body, they should refer to the terms and conditions relating to their award. The student will generally be required to notify their supervisor and in some cases a relevant Maternity Leave Request form will have to be completed, supported by a MATB1 certificate or doctor’s letter. This could make it more important for the student to notify the School/Faculty of the situation.
  • Sometimes, the absence of a student from University can adversely affect the work of other students they are working alongside (for example, on a group project or in a research team), which might make it more important to notify the School/Faculty, so that plans can be made to deal with any such issues arising from the absence.

Various sources of advice and support are available to students, whether or not they decide to notify their School/Faculty of their circumstances (see Section 12 for more information).

Note for International Students: If an international student requires a Tier 4 General Student visa to remain in the UK during her period of study, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regulations must be taken into consideration. Where a student is in the UK with a Tier 4 (General) student visa the University is required to notify the Home Office of any suspension of study. This may result in the curtailment of immigration permission. Both the School/Faculty and the student should seek advice from the International Student Office as early as possible during the pregnancy. This will enable colleagues to ensure that the student understands any implications for their immigration status and that any arrangements agreed with the student comply with UKVI requirements. Early discussions are also important because a late or unexpected decision to fly home could be affected by health considerations. More information can be found on the international student support webpage.

 

 

[1] In most cases, the most appropriate place to report, and receive support for, pregnancy related needs will be the student’s School. In Unitary Faculties (LUBS and Biological Sciences) it may be the Faculty or a sub-unit within the Faculty.

[2] In the case of pre-arranged antenatal appointments, the School/Faculty would normally need to be notified of these in advance in order to take these into account.

[3] In the case of pre-arranged antenatal appointments, the School/Faculty would normally need to be notified of these in advance in order to take these into account.