Ukraine youngsters arrive in Sunderland

Schools in Sunderland have offered almost two dozen places to children fleeing the Ukraine conflict, new data shows.

By Will Grimond
Monday, 11th July 2022, 1:42 pm
School places for Ukraine kids.
School places for Ukraine kids.

The Government currently operates resettlement schemes for refugees and migrants leaving Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong – many of whom are families with children.

Figures from the Department for Education show at least 20 Ukrainian pupils have been offered school places in Sunderland as of May 27 – the latest available data.

A further six pupils were still waiting for an outcome to their application.

The Government estimated 11,400 applications have been made for Ukrainian child refugees nationally up to May 27, of which nearly 10,000 had been given offers – including around 400 in the North East.

A further 5,400 Afghan and 8,000 Hong Kong pupils have been offered places in English schools.

Separate data from the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show 120 refugees had been given visas in Sunderland under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme as of July 5 - 94 of which have arrived in the UK.

This is up from four weeks ago, when there were 84 arrivals from 105 offers.

The Association of School and College Leaders said that while refugee pupils have been warmly welcomed by schools, there is more work to be done to support them.

Geoff Barton, the organisation's general secretary said: “The main challenges are the language barrier and supporting the children with the trauma they have experienced.

“We are concerned about the availability of wider specialist support for their mental health and wellbeing which schools can draw upon."