LUU should continue to lobby the University to provide equal opps in module choice for parents and carers

Passed: March 2020 (17th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

I feel as though as a parent I was restricted as to what degree course I could choose to progress onto. The past year I have studied BA Social Science foundation year, meaning my first year was only 3 days’ contact between the hours of 10am – 1pm this was easily accessible for parents and carers alike. Schools and childcare options are more accessible at these times and finding care for students with care responsibilities were more accessible.

However, during exams our last exam of the year was set in the June school holidays, which could have easily affected a student’s chance of attending and finding alternative care, putting them at a disadvantage for revision compared to other students without caring responsibilities. I viewed the timetables online for next year's modules. I needed to enrol on the courses that fitted with my caring responsibilities before they got fully booked up. This means I was deciding my future and my course based on what I could attend and what was more accessible for me, not what I was capable of or what I enjoy doing. I couldn’t choose what I wanted to do as I couldn’t find care or support for a 9am lecture or a 5pm finish. My child is four years old and attending a primary school from 9am – 3pm in Sheffield. I commute as I cannot just leave the family home due to my child's requirements due to his disability.

I am a single parent/career and he relies solely on me which again got me thinking: How do other parents and carers feel about this? Do they feel the same? And do they also let their education suffer or push themselves more than they should to gain an education because of the same reasons? For me this is not acceptable. Why are parents and carers not given a thought when looking for education choices to better their lives and the lives of the people they have responsibility for?’

Expires: March 2023 (17th)

Submitted By: Paige Kesemeyer

Officer: Education / Equality & Diversity

Area of Work: Access to Education

Updates

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

April 2020: The proposer met (digitally) with the Democracy Manager and Head of Academic Representation to discuss next steps - working on a set of outcomes to hand over to Academic Representation Team. This will be a continuation of the work already done in this area with the old policy.

March 2020: Idea resubmitted and passed

November 2019: Idea should be resubmitted as it expires shortly.

May 2019: Timetabling is decided last minute, which causes a lot of the issues. Parents & Carers can disclose that info to the UoL, but it's made little impact on how timetabling operates.