Mum's the word

One of Hull's pupil referral units is dedicated to educating teenage mums, such is the fertility in certain area's of the city.

"The focus is heavily on attainment now, and our young women should be given the same opportunities," says Julie Stamper. "If they have a few GCSEs it helps them on their way."

Most are in Year 11. As well as taking their GCSEs, they will have just been through pregnancy and childbirth. Far from distracting them, the experience often makes them even more ambitious.

"They have more focus in life and want to be educated, for themselves and their children," says Ms Stamper. After the exams, many go on to further education and training. Nursing, hairdressing and the caring professions are among the most popular areas.

The unit has run since 1989, but moved into refurbished premises with a high-quality nursery in 2000. It works closely with the mainstream schools and with health and social services to help the young women succeed in both early motherhood and a career.

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