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Returning after maternity leave

Students are not permitted to return to study during the first two weeks after the date of childbirth. This is classed as a period of compulsory maternity leave.

Students wishing to return to study earlier than the date previously agreed with their School, should advise their School in writing, giving at least eight weeks' notice  of the intended date of return.

If a student wishes to return to study later than the date previously agreed with their School, they must seek permission from their School to extend the period of interruption to studies.

Staying in touch

As is the case with all students on an interruption, Schools should seek to stay in touch with them during the period of the interruption.

This contact is intended to ensure that the student does not feel cut off from their academic studies and is in a position to resume studying when the time comes, to give them a contact point for any questions they have, or for any preparation which they may wish to undertake before returning.

Supporting parents when they return to their studies

In line with current legislation, the following guidance is provided to help you support students who return to the University following a period of maternity leave.

When students are planning to return to their studies, they should consult their Academic Adviser to discuss arrangements for the return.  A risk assessment should be carried out and any special arrangements agreed in advance.  Discussion should take place of any arrangements that can be made in the event of normal childcare arrangements temporarily breaking down.

Children on Campus

It is normally expected that students do not bring their children onto University premises.  However, in emergency situations there should be a degree of flexibility, whilst at the same time ensuring that health and safety aspects are considered to safeguard children as well as staff and students.

In instances where bringing children onto campus is unavoidable, students are wholly responsible for the supervision of their child and the child must never be left on their own.  The following guidance relates to arrangements in specific areas of the University:


Access may be permitted on the above condition and with the expectation that other students will not be disturbed.

IT clusters

Students should ask at clusters with swipe card entry for information regarding access while accompanied by children.

Lectures, tutorials and other classes

Children are not usually admitted, but it may be possible to arrange for them to be admitted in emergency situations.  Student parents should bear in mind that if they do bring their children onto University premises they are bringing them into an adult environment which is not set up to cater for the needs of children.  Students should obtain permission from the lecturer concerned if there is an emergency situation which leads to them wishing to bring their child into a class.  University policy states that Heads of Schools should sign off a risk assessment of the presence of children on University premises.  Lecturers/ Schools should consider putting clear boundaries in place so that the presence of the child within a teaching group does not distgurb the rest of the group.  If a child is present in a lecture or tutorial and causes a disruption, the student parent may have to leave the session with their child.

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Some students who are new parents may need to bring their baby into the University if they are breastfeeding, for example, on their return to study.  This should be discussed between the student and the School as part of their return to study discussion and plans.  Schools are encouraged to consider the availability of breastfeeding, expressing and resting facilities for new parents if at all practical.  The health and safety of the baby and other students should be considered in these cases.

It is not permitted to bring children or babies into laboratory conditions.