£500 extra for each child to help with language lessons, education
and employment secretary David Blunkett announced today.
Mr Blunkett said: 'Under the new arrangements for the reception and
different parts of the country. The children of asylum seekers are
legally entitled to education, regardless of their immigration
'I want to make sure that asylum seeker children get into school
quickly, and are able to learn. I have set aside£1.5m this
year to make sure that this happens.
'This money will not only mean that asylum seeker children get a
proper education, but that schools and their pupils who take those
children in are not disadvantaged.
'Using this money, I am announcing today that up to£500 will be
available this year for schools for each dispersed asylum seeker
child they receive, to help with English language lessons, and make
sure the children settle into school quickly. This money is in
addition to the funding available to all schools for these children
through our normal funding arrangements for all pupils and the
support we provide through our Ethnic Minority and Traveller
'I want to make sure the money goes principally to schools so that
the children concerned can get maximum benefit from it. The funding
will be made available on the basis of claims by local education
authorities for asylum seeker children they have already received.'
1. Under the Asylum and Immigration Act, new arrangements for the
reception and dispersal of asylum seekers came into force on 1 April
2000. Under the new arrangements, asylum seekers and their families
can be offered accommodation in a number of regions away from London
and the South East. The families can also receive vouchers to help
them with living expenses.
2. Asylum seekers are currently being dispersed to a number of
'cluster' areas in the regions - Leicester; London; Newcastle;
Middlesborough; Sunderland; Gateshead; Manchester; Liverpool;
Nelson; Hastings & St Leonard's; Birmingham; Sheffield; Bradford;
Leeds and Rotherham.
3. Schools receive funding for the education of children of asylum
seeker, in the same way as other children on school roll, through the
normal Standard Spending Assessment. Schools are also funded to help
asylum seeker children with acquisition of language skills through
the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Grant.
4. The secretary of state has allocated£1.5m in this financial
year to help with the cost of providing extra language lessons for
children of asylum seeker dispersed to the regions. The£500 for each
dispersed asylum seeker child is an addition to the normal funding
available through the Standard Spending Assessment and the Ethnic
Minority and Traveller Achievement Grant. The extra money will be
distributed to local education authoritieson the basis of a claim to
be made to the department by the authorities before the end of this
school term. The money would be released to authorities for
expenditure on the same basis on the same basis as the Ethnic
Minority Achievement Grant, so that 85% of the funds would be
distributed to the schools directly.
5. The department will be writing out to the authorities concerned
next week asking if they want to claim. Further claims for any
additional asylum seeker children dispersed this year would be made
in the autumn and spring terms.