Students: Refugees

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th September 2016.

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Photo of Jamie Reed Jamie Reed Labour, Copeland

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support her Department provides to students with refugee status.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

Holding answer received on 07 September 2016

The Government is wholly committed to ensuring that refugees who are resettled in the UK receive appropriate support and have a positive experience while they remain in the UK. Children with refugee or humanitarian protection status have access to the education system in the same way as citizen children.

Many pupils with refugee status will be classed as having English as an additional language (EAL). Current school funding arrangements enable local authorities to allocate a proportion of their funding to schools on the basis of the number of pupils in each school who have EAL, and who have been in the school system for a maximum of three years. Local authorities, in agreement with their schools forum, have the freedom to set the pupil rate for this, based on local circumstances.

Furthermore, pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years attract additional funding to the schools they attend in the form of the Pupil Premium. This is worth £1,320 per annum for each eligible pupil in primary school, and £935 per annum for those in secondary school. Pupils who are looked after by the local authority, including unaccompanied refugee children, and those who have left care through adoption or other specified routes also attract the Pupil Premium Plus, at the higher rate of £1,900 per annum. Schools have flexibility over how they use the funding to improve the educational outcomes of their pupil premium-eligible pupils, and are held to account through the focus in Ofsted inspections and the school performance tables on the progress and attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

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