news from ekklesia

news from ekklesia

By staff writers
22 Oct 2003

Ofsted says asylum seekers are welcome in schools

-22/10/03

Education watchdog Ofsted has said the children of asylum seekers are often "embraced" by schools.

In a report released on Wednesday the standards body said that many schools see refugees as an asset rather than a problem.

Research into the effects of asylum on nursery, primary, middle and secondary schools in London, the East Midlands and the North West found that teachers believed immigrant children represented opportunities to "enrich the cultural life of the school".

The news will be welcomed by church groups who have campaigned on behalf of asylum seekers, and have highlighted their ill treatment after arriving in the UK.

Earlier this year a book, Asylum Voices, published by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and prepared by its Commission for Racial Justice (CCRJ) catalogued the experiences of asylum seekers in Britain.

A "combination of the determination to succeed and the strong support of the parents provided a potent recipe for success", Ofsted chief inspector David Bell said.

"Today's report shows just how well schools can perform and adapt to meeting the needs of all pupils, including asylum seekers."

"I understand that for some schools this has been a difficult process [and] I would like to congratulate the schools for their hard work in creating a positive, welcoming environment for the newly arrived pupils."

But the report did warn that the government's dispersal policy of sending asylum seekers across the country needed to give more thought to the impact on schools.

It also claimed that in some circumstances the introduction of asylum seekers had led to incidents of racism in schools.

And schools suffer from poor quality information on the needs and status of refugee children given to them by the Home Office and the immigration service, Ofsted said.

Ofsted says asylum seekers are welcome in schools

-22/10/03

Education watchdog Ofsted has said the children of asylum seekers are often "embraced" by schools.

In a report released on Wednesday the standards body said that many schools see refugees as an asset rather than a problem.

Research into the effects of asylum on nursery, primary, middle and secondary schools in London, the East Midlands and the North West found that teachers believed immigrant children represented opportunities to "enrich the cultural life of the school".

The news will be welcomed by church groups who have campaigned on behalf of asylum seekers, and have highlighted their ill treatment after arriving in the UK.

Earlier this year a book, Asylum Voices, published by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and prepared by its Commission for Racial Justice (CCRJ) catalogued the experiences of asylum seekers in Britain.

A "combination of the determination to succeed and the strong support of the parents provided a potent recipe for success", Ofsted chief inspector David Bell said.

"Today's report shows just how well schools can perform and adapt to meeting the needs of all pupils, including asylum seekers."

"I understand that for some schools this has been a difficult process [and] I would like to congratulate the schools for their hard work in creating a positive, welcoming environment for the newly arrived pupils."

But the report did warn that the government's dispersal policy of sending asylum seekers across the country needed to give more thought to the impact on schools.

It also claimed that in some circumstances the introduction of asylum seekers had led to incidents of racism in schools.

And schools suffer from poor quality information on the needs and status of refugee children given to them by the Home Office and the immigration service, Ofsted said.

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