Schools in Hucknall and rest of Nottinghamshire take in more than 100 Ukrainian refugee pupils

Schools in Hucknall and the rest of Nottinghamshire have offered more than 100 places to children fleeing the Ukraine conflict, new data shows.

The UK 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 128 Ukrainian pupils have been offered school places in Nottinghamshire as of May 27, the latest available data.

The figures also show 34 offers have been given to pupils settled from Afghanistan and 638 to children from Hong Kong.

Figures from the Department for Education show at least 128 Ukrainian pupils have been offered school places in Nottinghamshire as of May 27

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 about 700 in the East Midlands.

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

Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities data shows 887 refugees had been given visas in Nottinghamshire under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme as of July 5, up from 764 four weeks ago.

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

Geoff Barton, ASCL 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.

“Our impression is this is patchy and schools are largely doing their own without any additional resources.”

Children’s charity Save the Children agreed more help is needed for Ukrainian pupils.

Dan Paskins, charity director of UK impact, said: “We are calling for more skilled caseworkers to speed up applications to come to the UK and to help if placements break down, and for more specialist mental health support for children and families."

The DfE admitted some children may not yet have school places in the UK, but says this could be due to pupils undertaking remote learning, or parents not realising the English academic year finishes later than in Ukraine. It is working to ensure all Ukrainian pupils can have a place in UK schools.