William Eichler 04 April 2022

Councils must find school places for Ukrainian children, Zahawi says

Councils must find school places for Ukrainian children, Zahawi says  image
Image: Michele Ursi / Shutterstock.com.

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi has urged local authority leaders to work with families arriving from Ukraine to enable the children to attend school as soon as possible.

In a letter to local authority chief executives and directors of children’s services, Mr Zahawi thanked councils for their work supporting refugees and emphasised the importance of school for integration.

He also said that he expects councils to work with newly arrived families to get their children into school.

‘Our expectation is that if there are school places available in the local area, even if not in the immediate vicinity of the family’s home, the local authority will work with families arriving from Ukraine to enable the children to attend school as soon as possible,’ he wrote.

Mr Zahawi continued: ‘As I have said previously, local authorities should be looking to provide places and, where necessary, use the flexibilities to admit above published admission number (PAN) and exceed the infant class size limit, as well as using the in-year Fair Access Protocol.

‘We will write separately to all local authority school admission officers outlining the rights of refugee children from Ukraine to access a school place and use the department’s Bulletin to Schools to make all schools aware.’

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