Schools can do more to help refugee children integrate - a new report by the Refugee Council - Refugee Council
May 7, 2008

Schools can do more to help refugee children integrate – a new report by the Refugee Council

A pioneering new report that recommends innovative ways schools can link with refugee and asylum seeking young people, their parents and carers and refugee community organisations will be launched by the Refugee Council on Wednesday 7th May. Baroness Helena Kennedy will speak at the launch being held at the Foreign Press Association.

Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council says:

“This is an important piece of research which highlights the unique role that refugee community organisations can play, with schools, in supporting refugee and asylum seeking young people with their education.”

The report, ‘Beyond the school gates: supporting refugee and asylum seekers in secondary school’, identifies significant barriers to inclusion faced by refugee and asylum seeking children such as bullying, racism, and delays in accessing school places. It proposes a series of solutions for improving cohesion and integration in schools and communities.

Lisa Doyle, co-author of the report adds:

“Schools are at the heart of our communities so they are vital in helping refugee and asylum seeking families and children to integrate.”

“Refugee and asylum seeking children have had traumatic experiences and have been forced to flee their home country. They can then be faced with significant barriers to inclusion at school such as delays in accessing school places, repeated relocations to new schools, lack of financial support for extra-curricular activities, uniforms and books, bullying and racism. Many are reluctant to reveal that they are refugees or asylum seekers, or to talk about their past for fear of further stigmatisation.”

“Schools can really help integration in their local communities by harnessing community participation and expertise in refugee community languages, mentoring schemes and out-of-school activities.”

The Refugee Council will publish a toolkit based on research and development activities for schools and refugee community organisations later in 2008.


Notes to editors

  1. The report presents the findings from research undertaken as part of the Inclusive Secondary Schools Project, a three year project delivered by the Refugee Council and funded by the KPMG Foundation. For a copy of the report go to
  2. For interviews with the report author, please contact Bob Deffee on 020 7346 1213
  3. The report will be launched on Wednesday 7 May, 6-8pm at the Foreign Press Association, 11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AJ. Media welcome.