The UK’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis means that at least 20,000 refugees from that conflict will arrive between now and 2020.  Many will be resettled in communities that have never hosted refugees before.  Every single resettled refugee will have a connection to a school, as only families are eligible for the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Programme.  Schools thus become crucial places of welcome, orientation and integration for refugee families.   

Citizens UK developed the Refugee Welcome School concept with one of its member schools, Saint Gabriel’s College, a Church of England secondary school in South London in 2016.  A further 35 schools soon expressed an interest in replicating the model.  In a project supported by Education International, NASUWT decided to join forces with Citizens UK to promote Refugee Welcome Schools.

Refugee Welcome Schools is an accreditation scheme to recognise schools that have made a commitment to welcome refugees in their institution and community, educate all their pupils and staff about the importance of refugee protection over the course of a year, and participate in campaigns to improve the lives of refugees in the UK.  

In order to become a Refugee Welcome School, schools should provide detail of a Refugee Welcome Plan, a Refugee Learning Plan, and a Refugee Action Plan that will be examined by a Refugee Welcome Schools Panel, made up of teachers, educationalists, trades unionists, children and refugees themselves. 

Accredited Refugee Welcome Schools are encouraged to display their accreditation certificate prominently, and are welcome to use the logo on materials. 

Both organisations have jointly produced a “Refugee Welcome School Support Pack” aiming to provide information and assistance to schools willing to apply and become part of the Refugee Welcome Schools Network.


With the recent election, came negative views towards undocumented immigrants entering and living in the United States. Last October, a group of associations and educators from different states in the US, including EI affiliates NEA and AFT, came together to develop extensive training targeting educators from around the country on how to launch the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, or DACA. This program creates “deferred action” of the removal process from the United States of undocumented young people. Any undocumented person who is currently in school, has graduated high school or obtained a GED (General Education Development) is eligible for DACA relief [1].

Such volunteer trainings have been set up across the nation to properly learn how to review undocumented students applications and make sure they meet all of the requirements. Through extensive training run by immigration attorneys, volunteers fill out mock applications, learn different techniques from these lawyers regarding examining the application, and learn about different grant opportunities. 

One specific grant that is focused on is the National Education Association’s Minority Community Organizing & Partnership grant opportunities, which have helped fund DACA clinics throughout the nation. Education Austin which benefitted from this grant to organize a campaign focusing on informing the community in Austin about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, developed a toolkit to help other unions to organize DACA Forums and Clinics in their communities.

[1] More information about DACA is available here.



On the occasion of the World Refugee Day, students from the Instituto de Enseñanza Secundaria La Morería and the Colegio Santa Creu launched an exhibition of the artistic works they have realized as part of a collaborative urban photomontage that will be organised in the coming months in Mislata with FECCOO’s support. The pictures have been placed on the walls of the institute and on the facade of the House of the Dona, in order to sensitize the entire local community of Mislata on the situation of refugees and the violation of their rights.

The exhibition will be open to the public for a week and then move to various institutions, such as the Center for Refugee Support (CAR) and other educational centers, to reach as many people as possible in the neighborhood. The initiative was applauded by the mayor of Mislata, Carlos Fernández Bielsa.

Begoña López, FECCOO’s coordinator of the projects in Spain, also participated in a debate entitled "Childhood and Refuge", bringing together various organizations and stakeholder working with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, such as Save the Children, teachers of the educational centers of Mislata, Miquel Ruiz, the pedagogical coordinator of the Colegio Santa Creu, and Ana María Julián, the Councilor for Education.

A daylong conference is being organised by the German Education Union (GEW) state branch in Bremen that will take place on 21 September 2017. The event is part of a local capacity building project led by the union State branch and supported by Education International (called “Teachers Organising For Quality Education Provision for Refugees”).

The conference primarily targets teachers and other education personnel and aims to look at the state and quality of education for refugees in the German federal State of Bremen. Up to 100 participants will attend a varied programme made up of talks and workshops. Topics include educators' intercultural competences, dealing with prejudices and best practice examples of teachers’ work in schools. Parallel workshops with the Refugees’ Council concerning their projects in schools and discussions with the Vocational Trades Council about how refugees can access apprenticeships and vocational training will be held during the conference.

Registration for the conference will be possible from early August by writing an email to GEW Bremen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

On Friday 19 May, the closing event of the project “Together we can” took place in Trapani, Sicily. The project aiming to promote integration activities for young refugees and unaccompanied minors was supported by Education International, in collaboration with Uil Scuola and IRASE and implemented by the Adult Learning Centre (CPIA) of Trapani.

It involved 40 students and teachers, with the support of a team formed by a psychologist, a cultural mediator and a social worker, to tackle issues related to integration and intercultural communication.

"The project - explains Giuseppe Termini, local coordinator and provincial secretary of UIL Scuola - has been carried out on three levels: teacher training activities, tutoring activities by the specialised support team on intercultural and interreligious communication, as well as school-work training opportunities for students through cooking and electricity professional workshops. The feedback we received was very positive, on the one hand, it has been helpful for teachers who have been able to sharpen their skills in dealing with students from different cultural backgrounds and on the other, it has allowed students to experience new vocational training opportunities with dedicated support to familiarize with the activities.”

A video (in Italian) presenting the project’s activities and outcomes has been produced and screened during the event.