The Refugee Council has urged children’s services to provide better advice and guidance for asylum-seeking children on accessing education, when they first arrive.
A report from the council found refugees and asylum seekers faced significant barriers to inclusion in schools, including significant difficulties in accessing school places. This included excessive delays in waiting for places, lasting up to seven months.
Report co-author Lisa Doyle said refugee and asylum-seeking children faced a number of problems. “They can be faced with significant barriers to inclusion at school such as delays in accessing school places, repeated relocations to new schools, lack of financial support for extra-curricular activities, uniforms and books, bullying and racism.”
As well as help in accessing education, the report recommended that local authorities should provide comparative information about schools in their area, to enable parents and carers to make informed choices.
The report, which looked at secondary schools in England, also made a series of recommendations as to how they could make more use of the expertise and knowledge of refugee community organisations.
Helping unaccompanied asylum-seeking children