To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether local authority obligations to provide school places for Ukrainian refugee children arriving under the family reunion route apply in the area where they live or in the area where their sponsoring family member lives.
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education wrote to all directors of children’s services on 1 April 2022 asking them to assist refugees from Ukraine in finding school places as quickly as possible. The department followed this up with a similar message to every local authority admission officer on 4 April 2022.
Admission authorities in England must always apply their published admission arrangements. There are no exceptions for Ukrainians or children of any other nationality.
Local authorities in England do not have additional school admission obligations in relation to refugees from Ukraine, they have the same right to a school place as any other child resident in the UK. Local authorities in England have a duty to provide sufficient school places for children living in their area. Parents have a duty to ensure any of their children who are of compulsory school age receive a suitable education.
It is not necessary to have a fixed home address in order to be allocated a school and admission authorities would be in breach of their legal obligations if they refused admission on this basis. The school admissions code states that admission arrangements must be clear about how a child’s home address will be determined.
The department provides advice, in Ukrainian and Russian, to parents on finding a school place in the Ukraine welcome pack, similar to the advice we provide Hong Kong British National (Overseas) and Afghan migrants. The department have also recently updated our website giving advice to local authorities and schools on the admission rights of foreign nationals.