Engaging with migrants and refugees

Practical tips about how to meet the needs of parents of refugee and migrant students in your school, from a careers education perspective.

Schools can encourage the involvement of their migrant and refugee communities in a number of ways.

  • Involve bilingual staff, community members or an interpreter to help explain school processes.
  • Designate a staff member as a co-ordinator (where there are large numbers of refugees and migrants).
  • Create awareness that education is not solely the responsibility of schools, but involves families too.
  • Include families in decisions about out-of-school activities (including work exploration), as these may involve some compromise of traditional culture. Getting family members involved can potentially reduce any sense of threat, so ask community members to contribute to learning as resource people or experts in specific subjects.
  • Provide comprehensive information in everyday English about education and training options, and where possible offering access to information in their first language.
  • Arrange alternatives to conventional careers evenings – for example, supporting the wider community, as well as students, by attending and participating in community meetings.

It is useful to remember that families of refugees or migrants often fall into two categories: those with high levels of literacy in their own language, and those who are pre-literate in their own language.

Updated 31 Aug 2015