chapter  8
13 Pages

Policy hysteria in action: teenage parents at secondary school in Australia

After this first informal chat, a meeting was called of the network of agencies with which the school already had working relationships. Anecdotally, it was apparent that access to secure childcare was one of the major barriers that made even contemplating the challenge of combining parenting and schooling too difficult for many teenage parents. By access, CBSC meant not only availability but also feasibility. Even if places were available in community childcare, teenage parents often lived some distance away from it and in the vicinity of the school, and did not have access to transport. The logistics around using public transport to take their child to community childcare and then to get themselves back to school in time for classes was a significant disincentive. On-site childcare would address this barrier, as well as allowing parents and children to see each other through the day. But how could this be achieved within an education system that was largely silent on the question of the education of teenage parents and had no brief to provide childcare within secondary schools?