This week, a video suggestion came up on YouTube titled ‘Teen mum high’. The name alone set off my curious nature so I went ahead and hit play…
The program has been made by BBC: Bare Facts and the documentary isn’t a recent creation (from around 2008). The description of the video read as follows:
“A documentary which looks at life in a pupil referral unit for school age girls who are either pregnant or have recently become a mum. With a crèche where the girls can leave their babies, it’s not a typical high school. It’s one of a small number of specialist pupil referral units around the UK for school girls who choose not to terminate their pregnancies or for whom termination isn’t an option.”
Moat House is a school that helps the girls continue with their education during and after pregnancy as well as teaching them the skills they need for being a mum. For example, near the start of the video, we can see one of the teachers showing the girls how to give their baby a bath and telling them what to do if their baby screams or feels uncomfortable.
I also love the opportunity this school offers. Most young mothers say that they started not going to school while pregnant because of being stared at and feeling like the freak show of their school. This place, gives the girls a chance to concentrate on their studies and to have a judgmental free place to go and seek support and advice. The girls can also carrying on learning their after their baby is born. This is thanks to the on site nursery facility.
The youngest of the girls at the school, Kayleigh, was in year 8 (13 years old) when she fell pregnant. There is a section of the video where we visit her house and talk to her and her mum about how they both feel about the situation.
Her mum was very supportive of her despite her young age, commenting on how mature she has been about her pregnancy and how she is capable of looking after her baby. Kayleigh also talks through her decision to have her baby at home in a birthing pool, something which is now a popular choice.
Another girl talked about how her family and her babies dad’s family wanted her to have a termination. She stated that no matter what you do in life, you have live with consequences and make the best of whats happened. The staff at the centre then went on to point out that this is a view-point shared by a lot of the girls who attend Moat House.
This documentary shows that having a baby doesn’t mean that you have to stop going to school. Personally, I think places like this could really help a lot of girls all over the country. It would give them a way of continuing with their traditional education as well as getting an education on what to do when you’re a mum, something which I know I would have benefited from!
You can watch the documentary for yourself here.
Until next time…