Supporting Ukrainian Pupils
We are working to ensure that Ukranian pupils joining our schools are supported to help them settle into their new communities. Being in school is a powerful way for children to be able to integrate and make new friends, as well as support their education.
Will Ukrainian pupils qualify for the Pupil Premium?
The Department for Work and Pensions has laid emergency regulations so those arriving in the UK from Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion can claim Universal Credit and access jobs support immediately. Families should therefore claim for free school meals in the usual way under the usual eligibility criteria. Local authorities are able to access the Department’s Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to determine a household’s eligibility for free school meals. If the family is not able to provide a National Insurance Number, or if a parent feels that the result returned by the ECS is inaccurate, they may provide the equivalent paper-based evidence to their local authority or school to check. It is not a requirement to have a National Insurance Number when first applying for Universal Credit. However, one will be allocated during the new claim process, which families will then be able to provide as part of their application for free school meals.
How can Ukrainian children be supported to integrate into Trust schools?
Our schools are responsible for ensuring that all of our pupils – including refugee and migrant pupils who have a first language other than English – develop the English language they need in order to access the curriculum and achieve their potential. Schools have the flexibility to use their overall budgets to help support the English language development needs of their pupils. The Secretary of State for Education published a letter for schools on 4 May 2022. This letter is available from the GOV.UK website. Sometimes a school may decide that it needs a translation service available to support a conversation with a family. Often other families may be available to help, but schools could also consider buying in a translation service where appropriate.
How will schools treat an application for a school place from a Ukrainian family?
Our schools will apply their usual admissions procedures, while recognising that some of these children, as newcomer pupils, will require additional support. They may need support with their English language, and in helping to develop friendships. Other children may require more specific support if trauma is a significant barrier to learning - but it may be some time before this becomes apparent in school. Initially, what these children will benefit from most is the security and stability of a regular school day. There are currently no ‘exceptional arrangements’ in place for admitting Ukrainian children to school, i.e. schools should not go above their permitted enrolment number unless a temporary variation has been applied for from the Department of Education.
The IES webpage outlines what support is available for schools Intercultural Education Service (IES)
Will Ukrainian pupils be eligible for FreeSchool Meals?
The usual eligibility criteria will apply for Ukrainian pupils. Information about how to apply can be found on each school website. If parent/carers are not in receipt of the requisite evidence for an application, a paper application should be submitted to the local FSM office under humanitarian grounds. This will provide a 12 week window to allow any evidence (e.g. Universal Credit statement) to be obtained and submitted retrospectively to the FSM office to support the application, while the pupil continues to receive a school meal daily.