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Prisoner's rights

Education when you’re under 18


Can I keep going to school if I am pregnant or have a baby?

Having a baby doesn’t mean you should have to stop learning. If you’re still at school you may be able to transfer to a teen parent unit, which supports you to complete your studies.

You can find out more at www.teenparentschools.org.nz

Do I have to keep going to school?

Education and Training Act 2020, s 36

You have to go to a registered school until you are 16 years old, even if you are pregnant or have a baby.

Can the school ask me to leave because I am pregnant?

Human Rights Act 1993, ss 21,57 New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, ss 5,19

No. It is against the law for your school to ask you to leave because you are pregnant or parenting a child. You have a right to your education.

What help can I be given to continue my education?

You can ask for a meeting between you and your family, the school principal and counsellor to discuss the best options for you.

Can I take my baby to school?

Some schools have childcare places at the school or nearby. If there are no places nearby, you will need to organise care for your child. You can discuss childcare options with your school counsellor.

The school I am at isn’t quite right for me while I am pregnant. What options do I have?

You can consider changing school or look at other options for continuing your education, such as:

  • Teenage/mother education units – these are special education units for teenage mums where you are supported as a student and as a parent. There is usually childcare on-site and sometimes you can take your baby to class too. You can find out more at www.teenparentschools.org.nz
  • Correspondence school – this means you study at home using books and digital learning tools. You can organise your study around caring for your child.

What kind of financial support can I get if I’m still at school?

Work and Income has payments for young parents. For example, Work and Income can provide financial assistance for childcare while you attend school.

There is also the Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment. You need to be in suitable training or education to receive this payment. For more information see the section on “Child support and benefits

Next Section | Housing

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Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide initial free legal advice and information.

Also available as a book

Pregnancy Rights

A basic, plain language guide that contains practical answers to questions about pregnancy and the law. It covers sex and consent, options after a positive pregnancy test, what help you can get with school, work, and parenting and more. Pregnancy Rights is written for young pregnant people, their whānau and advocates.

Buy Pregnancy Rights

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