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EXTRA HELP FOR SCHOOLS RECEIVING DISPERSED ASYLUM SEEKER CHILDREN

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Schools receiving dispersed asylum seeker children will get up to ...
Schools receiving dispersed asylum seeker children will get up to

£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

dispersal of asylum seekers, families with children are moving to

different parts of the country. The children of asylum seekers are

legally entitled to education, regardless of their immigration

status.

'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

Achievement Grant.'

'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.'

NOTES

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.

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