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Advice for pregnant students or those with children

The purpose of this guidance is to ensure that if you become pregnant or if you adopt a child while you are a student at the School you know where to seek advice about your own health, the health of your child, the management of your programme of study and any benefits and services available to you. Much of this guidance is also relevant to students with children and students whose partners are pregnant.

Early medical support

When you first learn that you're pregnant, it's important to contact your NHS General Practitioner| as soon as possible.  This is to make sure that you receive maternity health care that takes account of all your health needs and preferences.

Informing the School

It is important that you let your Department know that you are pregnant as soon as possible. The reasons for doing this are to make the best plans for you, your health and your programme of study. Should you feel uneasy about telling your department, we suggest you seek support from one of the many alternative sources of advice.

If you make the decision to terminate your pregnancy there is no need for any staff at the School to know about this but if you are away from classes you should let your Department know that you will be away for medical reasons. A note from a doctor should be provided to justify your absence but this does not have to specify the exact reason. 

Risk assessment

If you are a research student and you plan to take part in fieldwork whilst pregnant, this must be specifically addressed in the risk assessment form completed by you and your supervisor. You are advised to check with your doctor/midwife about travel, especially if this involves taking a flight. It should be noted that most airlines will not allow women to fly if they are more than seven months pregnant.

If you are a Graduate Teaching Assistant employed by the School, you have to inform the Health and Safety Team: Health.And.Safety@lse.ac.uk| who will complete a risk assessment with you to identify any relevant risks associated with your work as a GTA and to manage these risks for your protection.

Advice on termination

If you are considering termination, you can discuss your concerns confidentially with your academic adviser, the Adviser to Women Students, Student Services Centre, Students' Union Advice Centre, and the LSE Student Counselling Service. Contact details are included at the bottom of the page. 

Planning ahead

You will need to plan according to your individual circumstances and the timing of the academic year. You will also need to plan with your department the impact of your pregnancy on your programme of study. It may be possible, for example, to change classes to reduce the number of days you are required to travel to the School.

If your pregnancy is going to affect your examinations then you should contact your Department to discuss this. Individual Examination Adjustments may also be discussed with, and arranged through, the Student Services Centre. If despite these arrangements your examination performance might be significantly affected by your pregnancy you may submit an Exceptional Circumstances| claim to your examination board. This needs to be submitted to the Student Services Centre within seven days of your last examination.  Alternatively you can request to defer your examinations| to the following summer.

Research students should discuss this matter with the Research Degrees Unit |in the first instance and check the interruption of study information| which is specific to research students.

You are entitled to request an interruption from your programme of study| because of pregnancy and it is important to make a plan to take account both of the academic requirements of your programme and your needs as a pregnant mother.  

When making a request to interrupt your studies for this reason, you should think carefully about when you will be able to return to your programme of study. For students with a visa, please note you will need to return to your home country if you interrupt your studies (see also 'international students' section below).

It is a legal requirement for you to take two weeks off after your baby is born, before you return to your studies. 

Finance

Your student loan can continue for up to 60 days from the beginning of any interruption of study. You will need to inform the Student Finance England  |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 Students' Union Advice and Support Service|, who can also help you with your approach to the Student Finance England.

Graduate students in receipt of Research Council or other awards should contact the nominated contact in the Financial Support Office on the arrangements for the suspension of the award during the period of interruption.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties then you can be assessed by the Financial Support Office|. This support is only available when you are a registered student at the School and not during a period of interruption.

The Students' Union also has a Childcare Fund| which you may be eligible to access. 

International students

Becoming pregnant is not a breach of terms of your student visa. However, you need to note that if you are an international student you are unlikely to be entitled to maternity benefit, although you may be eligible for maternity allowance (see http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm). For further guidance relating to your visa, please contact the International Student Immigration Service|

 If you have financial sponsors, you must inform them of your circumstances and agree an appropriate plan of action. Also, when returning home you should arrange for continuing ante-natal care in your home country and take details of any care you have received in the UK.

Child care

This will need advance planning. It is advisable to begin to make arrangements at the beginning of your pregnancy. The School operates a day nursery| but places are limited, so if you're interested in place, make sure to apply well in advance.

Alternatively, the Direct Gov website includes a facility for locating childcare providers.

Rest and breastfeeding facilities

Pregnant women may, at times suffer from fatigue, especially during the later months of the pregnancy. The School's common rooms can be used as rest rooms during this period.

The School has a room on the first floor of Tower 3, where expectant mothers can put their feet up and rest and where new mothers who can breastfeed and/or express and store milk. This facility is available for both staff and students to use.  Students who would like to access the room should ask at Reception in the Tower. 

Accommodation

The School has limited family accommodation. For more information on what is available and how to apply contact the Accommodation Office|

For Postgraduate students, the Goodenough College offers accommodation for students with families: www.goodenough.ac.uk/|

Sources of advice

Accommodation Office|: Whether you're new to the School, a returning undergraduate or postgraduate, or an international student, we can help you find the right accommodation in London.

Undergraduate Admissions|: If you would like to speak to a member of staff from the Undergraduate Admissions Office in person, then you can visit one of our drop-in sessions. These sessions are held in the Student Services Centre in the Old Building, between 11am and 12pm and 2.30 - 3.30pm Monday - Friday, excluding Wednesdays when there is no afternoon counter session. Visitors to these sessions are seen on a first-come, first-served basis so it is not necessary to make an appointment.

Graduate Admissions|: To visit us in person you can come to the Student Services Centre between 12-1 (weekdays) and 3-4 (weekdays except Wednesdays).

Adviser to Women Students: Dr Wendy Sigle-Ruston: w.sigle-rushton@lse.ac.uk|, 020 7955 7358. The Adviser is available to discuss issues of concern to women students in the School and to offer advice and support to women students with personal problems.

Adviser to Men Students: Dr Jonathan Hopkin, j.r.hopkin@lse.ac.uk| 020 7955 6535. The Adviser is available to discuss issues of concern to male students and provides a confidential point of contact.

Disability and Well-Being Service|: The Disability & Well-being Service co-ordinates arrangements for individual students in an Individual Student Support Agreement (ISSA) and provides advice on disability-related issues across the School.

Health & Safety Team|: The School employs a small Health and Safety Team to give advice and support, and assist with developing and implementing preventative and protective measures.

LSE Counselling Service:| The Counselling Service aims to enable students to cope more effectively with any personal or study difficulties that may be affecting them while at LSE. There are nine professionally qualified and experienced counsellors in the service, and between us we offer about 100 sessions of counselling each week.

Nursery|: The LSE runs a multi-cultural nursery, providing care for up to sixty three children aged between three months and school age. It is located in the Grosvenor House Studios 8a Wild Street London WC2B 4RL. There are 23 places (not more than 11 under ones) for babies aged three months to two years, 24 places for children aged between two to three years and 16 places for children three to five years. 

Students' Union Advice Centre|: The SU advisers can help with a range of issues including landlord and tenant contracts; immigration, including student visa extensions; post study work visas, academic appeals, and general welfare advice.   All services are free of charge and advice and counselling are provided in strict confidence.

Undergraduate Dean: Dr Peter Howlett, ug.dean@lse.ac.uk| 020 7955 7058.

Graduate Dean: Dr Sunil Kumar, pg.dean@lse.ac.uk| 020 7955 7574. 

The Deans have a wide range of duties relating to the School's undergraduate or graduate community, as appropriate. They are available to any student wishing to discuss academic or personal issues.

Financial Support Office|: The Financial Support Office, which is situated within LSE's Student Services Centre, is responsible for administering School funds and a variety of scholarships, studentships, prizes and awards.

International Students Immigration Service|: ISIS staff are the only staff who are designated at LSE to advise you on the student immigration rules. We can advise you on your immigration options while studying at LSE.

Research Degrees Unit|: The Research Degrees Unit offers a range of advice and guidance to MPhil/PhD and visiting research students, including regulations, policies and code of practice, examinations, fees and financial support, and help with your studies.

Student Services Centre|: Offers advice to undergraduate and Masters students on all aspects of their programme of studies: see the website to identify whom you need to speak with.

There are also a number of support services outside the School offering advice and support:

Brook|: Provides free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young
people, including advice on pregnancy.

Marie Stopes Foundation|: UK's leading provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare services, provides confidential counselling on unplanned pregnancies.

National Childbirth Trust|: The UK's largest charity for parents. Provides information on ante natal care, birth and parenting.

Direct Gov|: Includes advice for parents on pregnancy care, maternity benefits, childcare etc.

Student Parents|: Advice for student parents on how to balancing competing commitments in order to study successfully.

LSE Facilities Guide|:  Medical and childcare provision

The School acknowledges that this guidance document is based on the policies produced by the University College London and the University of Liverpool.

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