Afghan refugees: Doncaster Council receives over £100,000 to help 41 children into school system

Doncaster Council has received over £100,000 to provide educational support to dozens of Afghan children who fled their country as refugees.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 3:22 pm

The Department for Education has provided the £101,103 sum to help 41 refugee children into the borough school system.

These include four children aged 0-4, 15 children of primary school age and 22 aged 11-18 who have moved into the secondary school system.

All children between the ages of 4 and 18 are currently attending one primary school and one secondary in the borough.

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Afghan refugees are currently being housed in the Danum Hotel.

The Afghan Resettlement (Education) Grant 2021-22 is for the provision by local authorities of education services for children from families arriving from Afghanistan under Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy, Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme and British Nationals, currently residing in bridging accommodation, namely hotels funded by the Home Office.

In Doncaster’s case, these Afghan nationals are in accommodation at the Danum Mercure Hotel.

This grant can be spent on: providing a state-funded school place and providing a place at an early years setting for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds accessing the 30 hours free childcare entitlements.

It can also fund placements of larger clusters of children into schools and early years settings, including the hiring of additional and specialist teaching and non-teaching staff.

Transport to and from education settings specialist and bespoke services, such as support for children is also included in the expenditure if needed.

Paul Ruane, head of learning provision at Doncaster Council, said: “The proposal is to allocate the majority of this grant directly to the two schools that have these pupils on roll to support their education and provide extra support where necessary.

“This could be in the form of specialist tuition or other support needs that will emerge as the children access school. The remainder of the grant will go to Early Years Providers for places at settings for four children.

“Doncaster Council has a legal duty to ensure that all the refugee children have access to age appropriate education.

“A number of other schools were considered but no other schools apart from (the two chosen) could accommodate all of the children in each phase.

“Accommodating all primary-phase children in one school and all secondary phase children at another provides stability for the children and enables the respective schools to plan and resource extra provision where necessary.”