Derbyshire schools take in more than 100 Ukrainian refugee pupils

Schools in Derbyshire have offered more than 100 places to children fleeing the Ukraine conflict, new data shows.

By Will Grimond, Data Reporter
Monday, 11th July 2022, 1:12 pm

The UK Government currently operates resettlement schemes for refugees and migrants leaving Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong – many of whom are families with children.

Figures from the Department for Education show at least 106 Ukrainian pupils have been offered school places in Derbyshire as of May 27 – the latest available data.

A further 28 pupils were still waiting for an outcome to their application but may since have been granted a place.

Figures from the Department for Education show at least 106 Ukrainian pupils have been offered school places in Derbyshire as of May 27 – the latest available data.

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The Government estimated 11,400 applications have been made for Ukrainian child refugees nationally up to May 27, of which nearly 10,000 had been given offers – including around 700 in the East Midlands.

A further 5,400 Afghan and 8,000 Hong Kong pupils have been offered places in English schools, according to estimates.

The figures were compiled through a survey given to local authorities, with 77% of councils responding.

Separate data from the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show 1,104 refugees had been given visas in Derbyshire under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme as of July 5, 815 of which have arrived in the UK.

This is up from four weeks ago, when there were 604 arrivals from 936 offers.

The Association of School and College Leaders, which represents school heads, said that while refugee pupils have been warmly welcomed by schools, there is more work to be done to support them.

Geoff Barton, the organisation's general secretary said: “The main challenges are the language barrier and supporting the children with the trauma they have experienced.

“We are concerned about the availability of wider specialist support for their mental health and wellbeing which schools can draw upon.

“Our impression is that this is patchy and that schools are largely doing this on their own without any additional resources.”

Save the Children, a children's charity, agreed that more help is needed for Ukrainian pupils.

Dan Paskins, director of UK impact, said: “We are calling for more skilled caseworkers to speed up applications to come to the UK and to help if placements break down, and for more specialist mental health support for children and families."