Support and Advice for Student Parents
As a parent or carer at King's you, more than anyone, will learn the skill of juggling university work, family commitments and your own needs. University will be just one aspect of your busy life that must be moulded around the sometimes unpredictable rhythms of family life.
Student life is sometimes hard, the university appreciates your situation and we will do what we can to help you. We have listed useful information below and useful links on the right which you may find useful for planning your time at University and seeking further support.
Student Parent Handbook
The Family Society have put together a useful handbook which contains details for both undergraduate and postgraduate students with caring responsibilities. It contains useful details relating to maternity and paternity leave as well as managing your studies whilst pregnant. Follow this link to download it.
Where to get support?
Let your personal tutor know your situation. If you do have difficulties later in the academic session with commitments outside of university, they will be aware and can help you as best they can. Tutors may be able to arrange for missed lecture notes to be forwarded to you, they may arrange a time for you to discuss work you have missed with appropriate staff and they may have information on who else can help you within the university.
Let the Advice & Guidance Team know that you are a parent or carer by completing the online form here. This will allow us to keep you up to date with relevant events, and to inform you of useful information to help you in your studies and student life.
You can book an appointment to talk to someone in the Advice & Guidance Team if you need assistance or just a listening ear. We have specialist advisers who are experienced in helping students with caring responsiblities.
King's operates a counselling service where you can speak to a member of the team confidentially. View their advice pages for further information.
The Chaplains are also available across the university for practical and spiritual support.
If you are also a mature student (21 or over on the first day of your studies) they you should also look at the information for Mature Students.
It is important to find some like minded support, and one of the best places for this is with your fellow students. There are several ways you can get in touch and get to know your peers, including making sure you join any chat groups or societies within your faculty. Check out the following as well:
The KCL Student Union operates an active Family Association which is an association set up to represent and support student parents/guardians, carers and those with caring responsibilities. Their support also extends to those who are step-parents and those with extra familial and/or caring responsibilities that may not classify themselves as carers.
They often hold inclusive, child friendly events, as well as events with more of a supportive element.
You can follow them on facebook.
We would also invite you to join the King’s Student Parent Facebook page, this is another way of linking up with other student parent/carer’s here at KCL.
Keats discussion board
We understand that students with caring responsiblities cannot always make it into Central London for events and support groups, but still need a place to chat to other students with similar responsiblities. The support you can provide each other is invaluable, so we have created an online discussion board within Keats. Search for "Student Services" where you will find the "King's Student Parent and Carers" group.
The Advice and Guidance Team put on events focussed towards students with caring responsibilities. There are various activities, some of which give you an opportunity to bring your family on to campus and show them where you spend your days. There are also workshops targeted at supporting you through your experience as a student with caring responsibilities and givng you an opportunity to share your thoughts and meet others in a similiar situation.
There is a workshop targeted at Student Parents and Carers at Waterloo campus on Wednesday 14th November 2018, find out more on Eventbrite:
International Student Parents
If you need help obtaining a visa for you and your dependants King’s has a Visa & International Student Advice Team who can assist with all your queries. You can view information online for help applying for a visa for dependants or if you cannot find the information you are seeking or have a specific query then you can contact them directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The UK Council for International Student Affairs also has lots of useful information about studying and living in the UK as a student.
Time out for pregnancy or family responsibilities
There are times when students need to take time out due to a change in their circumstances, if this happens to you then we always recommend that you first speak with one of our friendly advisers who can assist you with managing this process. You can find out more about what the process involves by visiting our advice pages on Taking a Break, Transferring and Withdrawal from your studies.
Adoption and Maternity Leave
We have information for students who become pregnant while studying in our advice pages about changes in your circumstances due to pregnancy, and answers to some common questions below.
What is the impact of maternity leave upon my student visa?
If you interrup your studies the Home Office expects you to return to your home country and your visa would be cancelled. You would then need to obtain a new visa before coming back to resume your studies. If you are going to suspend for a short period, are unable to return home, or have any further questions please contact email@example.com for advice.
How will maternity leave affect my funding?
Undergraduate students can apply for remission of any additional year’s University fees which will be considered by the Fees Panel on a case-by-case basis. You should contact your funding body for advice about funding matters during maternity leave, including the potential for additional loans.
Graduate students should obtain approval from their funding body for any period of leave. Where permission has been granted you will be charged fees at the part-time rate. This is particularly relevant in the case of one-year master’s courses, where fee liability extends for six terms.
How is adoption leave calculated?
The arrangements for adoption leave are parallel to those made for maternity and paternity leave, in that the main carer takes ‘maternity leave’, regardless of gender, and the carer’s partner takes ‘paternity’ leave.