Supporting newly-arrived communities | National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education

Supporting newly-arrived communities

About newly-arrived communities

New arrivals to the UK who may be helped by supplementary schools are international migrants, including refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants from overseas. They may come from families who themselves have to learn English, and who are not able to support their children with homework. At a supplementary school, children will find volunteers who work confidently in both English and their home languages to help them.

Newly-arrived families will turn to others in their own communities to find out about housing, education and life in the UK, to translate and interpret and to give them friendly, informal support. Many community organisations run supplementary schools to support children’s school work as they settle into the UK, and to ensure that they do not forget their home languages and cultures.

Children in newly-arrived families, especially those seeking asylum, are at greater risk of changing home and school several times within a short period. This can disrupt their education and make it hard to make friends. As supplementary schools receive children from outside school catchment areas, they can remain a consistent resource for children who move regularly.

‘We have moved house so many times it has been very hard. I have had to change schools three times and this [supplementary] school has helped me a lot. I still have my friends here and the teachers are nice.’ 12 year old boy whose family is seeking asylum.