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One year on from Russia invading Ukraine: school places

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One year ago Russia illegally invaded Ukraine and since then the British people have given refuge to over 150,000 Ukrainians through our ground-breaking visa schemes, including thousands of children.

Last year, the UK provided £2.3billion in military aid to Ukraine and has pledged a further £1.5billion in economic and humanitarian support.

We are also continuing to support all Ukrainians in the UK to give them the same access to education as a UK citizen.

Here’s what you need to know about school places for Ukrainian refugee children.

What is the policy on school places for children arriving from the Ukraine?

We believe that school is the best place for all children to be educated and that attending school is vital to help newly arrived children integrate as quickly as possible into the communities where they now live.

Local authorities will work with families arriving from Ukraine to make sure children are able to attend school at the first opportunity. Wherever possible, they’ll be offered a place in schools in the local area.

If there aren’t any places available, the local authority should use its ‘in-year fair-access’ procedure, which allows schools to admit vulnerable children, including those from Ukraine, even if a school is already technically full.

How many children from Ukraine have been given school places?

At the start of the 2022/23 school year over 20,000 school places – around 92% of all applications – had been offered to children arriving from Ukraine. Local authorities are continuing work with families to make sure every Ukrainian child gets a suitable school place offer as soon as possible.

Are there any pupils who have come from Ukraine but haven’t applied for a school place?

Yes, some families fleeing war in Ukraine haven’t applied for a school place. This may be because they are learning remotely through the Ukrainian online education platform set up by the Ukrainian government.

Do Ukrainian children attending school in the UK also need to attend online lessons run by teachers in a college or school in Ukraine?

Our commitment is to offer the same high-quality education as existing pupils in the UK.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) has also published the Ukrainian curriculum to support Ukrainian refugees and those children displaced by the conflict.

Whilst schools should continue to prioritise delivering their usual curriculum, they may also want to share these Ukrainian educational materials with Ukrainian pupils and families joining the school.

These resources should be used to complement pupils’ education, for example, for use at home or in supplementary schools. They should not be used to replace schools’ usual curriculum.

How can I find out more about applying for a school place?

The Department has produced a helpful guide in both English and Ukrainian so new arrivals know what they should do and what is available to them: How do families arriving from Ukraine apply for a school place and childcare? / Як родинам, що приїжджають з України, подавати заяви на отримання місць у школі та допомоги з оплати послуг з догляду за дитиною?


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