New schools liaison project

We’re developing a project to support children, parents and schools with the challenges faced by refugee and asylum-seeking children in their education (including those who arrive here alone). Children usually learn English faster than their parents, so they are unable to get support with homework from their families, and our volunteers have been helping out informally. In many cases, one or both parents didn’t finish or have any formal education when they were children and may be illiterate. They can find it difficult to understand how school works here and deal with communications with schools. Another issue is that learning difficulties are often not picked up or referred if children aren’t literate in English, which is of course harder for them to achieve if they have additional learning needs – a vicious cycle. Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children often have very little or no education, and may not be literate in their own language, so they really struggle when put on GCSE courses. Teaching staff are not equipped to support learning for children like this, and can also feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the challenge. Viewing all these issues together, it is clear there is a gap in structured support for children, parents, teachers and schools that we hope to start addressing with our new project.

Do you have expertise on any or all of these issues? We’re looking for people to advise us as we develop our work on this. Please get in touch if you think you can help?

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