Teen mums excel at school

14th October 2005 at 01:00
The pram in the hall may be the enemy of good art, but if its owner is a school-age mother, there can be surprising benefits. More than half of 93 teen mums in a research study attended school more often and more enthusiastically than pre-pregnancy. They liked the adult atmosphere and smaller classes of mother-and-baby units and - probably most significantly - wanted to do well to ensure their child's future. There's nothing like a bit of responsibility and sleep deprivation to make you grow up.

Teenage mums generally get a terrible press. Success stories are a rarity.

This research deserves equally wide publicity: to encourage schools to keep pupils who become pregnant, to affirm the success of hardworking girls - and, perhaps, deter any hormonal Year 9s who see motherhood as a golden, lesson-free future.

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