Support for Ukrainian Newcomer pupils

The Intercultural Education Service is working with other EA support services and agencies to assist schools to provide a place of sanctuary that makes Ukrainian children, young people and their families feel welcome as they come to settle in Northern Ireland.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should schools treat an application for a school place from a Ukrainian family?

Schools should 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.

What additional EA supports are available?

The IES webpage outlines what support is available for schools Intercultural Education Service (IES) . The Asylum Seeker and Refugee page can be found here which includes a useful link for training on Trauma-Informed Practice with Asylum Seekers and Refugees. You can submit a request for help (either learning and curricular-based, or pastoral support)

Is additional funding available for Ukrainian pupils?

The UK Government has indicated that additional financial support will be made available to schools to meet the educational needs of Ukrainian pupils arriving on the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. No information has yet been provided on the availability of funding for pupils arriving on the ‘Ukrainian Family’ scheme. The levels of funding have not yet been confirmed, but it is likely that the funding will be ring-fenced and applicable only to an early period of time in education to support learning and integration, e.g. the first 12 months in school.

Can schools receive information on Ukrainian culture and language?

IES will be providing introductory information with some key cultural information about Ukraine, useful phrases and essential vocabulary, as well as key links to language sites. This will be available from early April 2022 on both the IES webpages and the EDiS (C2k) site.

Will Ukrainian pupils be eligible for Free School Meals and the uniform allowance?

The usual eligibility criteria applies for Ukrainian pupils. This information and the online portal for applications can be found on the EA 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.

Will transport be provided for Ukrainian pupils?

The usual eligibility criteria for transport assistance applies for Ukrainian pupils. Applications for transport assistance can be made online here. Parents and/or carers should be made aware that it is largely their responsibility to ensure their children get to school safely.

Where can schools find out more information about the various visa schemes for Ukrainian families?

The Stronger Together Network has a helpful webpage of regularly updated information related to this issue.

Last updated: 03/03/2023