I recently questioned the Minister responsible for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. My question was about ensuring local authorities like Hillingdon Council have sufficient funding to ensure that every refugee child receives a good-quality education.
I was pleased to hear that the support package for the scheme includes children and includes adults who may need support in learning English. It was also very welcome to hear the emphasis the Minister placed upon integration.
The full exchange can be found below:
I very much welcome today’s announcement, and in particular, the statement at the Dispatch Box in respect of resettling well. A key part of that for local authorities is ensuring access to education. What assessment has been undertaken to ensure the adequacy of the funding provided to local authorities so that every refugee child receives a good-quality education?
We have published our support package for whole families, which of course includes children. It focuses on the needs of not just school-age children but, importantly, adults who may need support in learning English. We have a fund of £850 per eligible adult to help them to enrol on English for speakers of other languages courses. The Department for Education has also announced that young people who wish to go on to higher education will fall into the system of having indefinite leave to remain, so they will not have to pay the sorts of fees that others from overseas have to pay. We are very keen that children be integrated as quickly as possible, because they are the future for ensuring that their families play an important part in our local communities.