The principal of an innovative Adelaide high school that reconnects teen mothers to education is calling for more widespread support in schools for young mums to help give them brighter futures.
Principal of the Family Learning Centre — part of the Northern Adelaide Senior College — Colleen Abbott, said the centre’s program helped support parents in learning and prepared them for future studies.
“Education is critical to the empowerment of the community, and educated people — whether they are parents or not — will be able to contribute much more successfully to a debate about the best way for our society to move forward,” she said.
The Family Learning Centre, located at Elizabeth, has a crèche attached so the babies can be looked after while their mothers study a range of subjects across the humanities, sciences, English, maths, arts, technology and child studies fields.
“We offer a midwife who works with the girls twice a week and a qualified social worker who works alongside the young women to keep a continued connection with school,” Ms Abbott said.
Stacey Williams, 21, gave birth to her daughter, Mackenzie, two years ago and she said from that moment, she knew she wanted to do something meaningful with her life — and she’s found that at the Northern Adelaide Senior College.
“I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mum, I wanted to do something,” she said.
“I’m studying cooking, budgeting, maths, English, everything and I feel so much more confident in myself.”
Large image: Students Stacey Williams with daughter Mackenzie (2), Emily Evans with daughter Kylah (9 months), Tiaan Lee with Alliannah (14 months) and Brandi Gibbs with daughter Kirsti (4). Picture: Sam Wundke