Milton Keynes schools offer dozens of places to Ukrainian refugees

Schools in Milton Keynes have offered dozens of places to children fleeing the Ukraine conflict, new data shows.
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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 48 Ukrainian pupils have been offered school places in Milton Keynes as of May 27 – the latest available data.

A further eight pupils were still waiting for an outcome to their application but may since have been granted a place.

School places have been offered to Ukrainian refugees starting a new life in Milton KeynesSchool places have been offered to Ukrainian refugees starting a new life in Milton Keynes
School places have been offered to Ukrainian refugees starting a new life in Milton Keynes

The figures also show that 123 offers have been given to pupils settled from Afghanistan and 290 to children who have settled here from Hong Kong.

The Government estimated 11,400 applications have been made for Ukrainian child refugees nationally up to May 27. Of these, almost 10,000 had been given offers – including around 2,200 in the South East.

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

The figures were compiled through a survey given to local authorities, with 77% of councils responding.

Separate data from the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show 351 refugees had been given visas in Milton Keynes under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme as of July 5, 243 of which have arrived in the UK.

This is up from four weeks ago, when there were 203 arrivals from 306 offers.

The Association of School and College Leaders, which represents school heads, 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.”

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

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

Save the Children, a children's charity, has agreed that more help is needed in the UK for Ukrainian pupils.

The charity said it wants a similar sponsorship approach to be extended to refugees from other countries.