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Education: Asylum

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL11754, tabled on 23 November 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to help improve the educational attainment of asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors at (1) Key Stage 4 level, and (2) all other key stages.

Answered on

7 December 2018

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children are ‘looked-after children’ and local authorities have a duty under the Children Act to promote their education. The government’s statutory guidance ‘Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children’ attached makes clear that local authorities should have procedures in place to promote and monitor their educational progress. This includes the statutory requirement for local authorities to appoint a Virtual School Head (VSH) to discharge their duty to promote the educational achievement of all looked-after children. The statutory guidance also stresses the importance of providing stability and continuity in education, particularly at Key Stage 4. Looked-after children are one of the groups of pupils that attract Pupil Premium Plus funding. This is additional funding provided to schools to help improve the attainment of looked-after children and close the attainment gap between them and their peers. The VSH monitors how this funding is spent.

The Department for Education has also contributed £1.3 million through the Government’s Controlling Migration Fund over two years, to enable six local authorities to address the education needs of unaccompanied children so that their specific needs can be addressed through their Personal Education Plan. The local authorities are also developing tools and resources to share with all other local authorities through the National Association of Virtual School Headteachers.