Middlesex University today launches a practical toolkit to support newly arrived migrant parents to understand the school system in the UK.
From the different types of state schools to the absence of physical punishment to the greater informality of lessons, UK schools differ vastly from those in other countries.
It is no surprise then, that migrant families can be both confused and unprepared when it comes to schooling in the UK.
“UK parents often find it very stressful finding school places for their children so for migrant families, whose first language is not English, the experience can be very daunting,” says Professor Louise Ryan, lead author of the toolkit.
It’s essential that all children settle into school as seamlessly as possible so we hope that our guide will help migrant parents adapt to a new life and get the best start for their children.”
Other key features of the English school system that migrant parents may be unprepared for include children starting school at an older age and the need for extra help learning English.
The toolkit developed by Middlesex academics responds to this gap in knowledge by providing essential information to support and guide migrant parents throughout the primary to further education process.
Two PhD students from the University were also involved in the development of the toolkit, translating the information into both Polish and Spanish.
“Not only does the University benefit from internationally-renowned experts on migration but also from the diversity of students – a range of countries are represented so that our students are always able to hear first-hand and draw on their own experience,” Professor Ryan added.
Following the launch, Professor Ryan and her team will work across schools to integrate the toolkit into the curriculum. In particular, she will liaise with the Education Department to ensure students are able to access it as a key resource during their teacher training.