Exclusion from school: teenage pregnancy and the denial of education

Case Studies & Research
20 p.
Periodical title
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 7 (3), pp. 219-237

There is an unrecognised crisis in the education of pregnant schoolgirls and schoolgirl mothers. Girls leaving school due to pregnancy are not reported in official statistics. This has serious consequences in terms of resource allocation and planning of service provision. This article examines how girls are forced out of the mainstream education system because they are pregnant or have given birth. The consequences for the young mothers and their children are dramatic—as a result of their missing out on the crucial experience of education they may be left disaffected from society with poor future employment and life prospects. This is particularly important as teenage pregnancy disproportionately affects working‐class girls. The crisis is exacerbated by the fact that research on the problem is dominated by health concerns, and that very little education data are collected. The article concludes that despite new government schemes trying to address some of the issues of teenage pregnancy, there is a lost generation of teenage girls who have become pregnant and given birth in the last two to three years and who have effectively ‘fallen through the net’.

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