Migrant children under the age of 15 represent approximately 5% of the EU population. Large variations in the distribution of the migrant child population exist across Member States. There is also variation in the proportion of children among the foreign-born population in some Member States. Across the EU, children with a migrant background tend on average, to perform less well in school and are more likely to be early school leavers than their native counterparts. A number of intersecting reasons may have some bearing on this trend, including potential socio-economic disadvantage, social isolation and issues with the language of instruction. It is worth noting that some of these challenges are not endemic to migrants. While cultural and linguistic factors can play a role in a child’s success, and their social and educational integration and progression, other factors, such as socio-economic disadvantage are critical and should be given due attention. The issues are even more striking when we address the refugee children among them, who often face serious cultural barriers as well as psychological issues they need to overcome. Therefore, a range of complementary policies and approaches are required at different levels (national, local, etc.) and need to include a range of stakeholders (for example, school administrators, educators, parents, politicians, third sector). This project will deliver tools that will enable schools and policy makers to better face these challenges in addressing the needs of migrant children, and especially then refugee children, and effectively reduce attrition in education among this target group of migrant children with a refugee background. While European countries have implemented a host of different policies aimed at closing the "native-immigrant" educational gap, the consistency in these policies is not obvious , hence the need for sharing good/best practices. Our project measures include sharing extensive resources, good and best practices among schools, especially those with a high concentration of migrants with a refugee background, and sharing policy frameworks among all participating ministries. Clearly, this sharing of good practice initiatives within the education system can have immediate effects on migrant children’s educational success, helping migrant children to reach their full potential. To achieve this synergy, the project aims towards creating an alliance of schools (primary and secondary education) and ministries/directorates of education for the inclusion of newly arrived migrant children (with special focus on refugee children) in education, and creating a buddy-ing concept, whereby schools can team up online and share good/best practices via an online hub.
Using a range of innovative tools, the project aims to strengthen schools (primary and secondary education) in all partner countries and beyond in their education of migrant children (with a refugee background):
- database of good/best practices in 3 domains (guidance, assessing, validation) in all partner languages + English: guidance towards good quality education with best practices models collected via European platform/study; assessing pupils’ knowledge via non-intrusive yet efficient manner (guidance), validation of prior learning for pupils
- database of usable and shareable learning material to facilitate inclusive education for migrant children in all partner languages + English
- online collaborative exchange portal and resource repository concept towards inclusive education in all partner languages + English
- introducing peer support learning as innovative method to foster inclusive education
- online tool for assessment methodology for refugee students’ prior knowledge & recognition and validation of the learning outcomes gained during the learning process
- white papers towards inclusive education for migrant children, based on the project’s outcomes and results.