LONDON’S MIGRANT FAMILIES:
INTEGRATION AND EDUCATION
Overview of Current Challenges
Alessio D’Angelo, Senior Lecturer in S...
Introduction
This presentation builds on a number of ‘Knowledge Exchange’ projects
undertaken within the Social Policy Res...
Migrant and BME pupils in London
• School population in London is characterized by an increasing diversity.
0.0%
10.0%
20....
Migrant and BME pupils in London - Underachievement
• Overall improvement in
the last decade
• Persistent gaps among
some ...
Socio-economic inequalities and welfare needs
• Some BME groups
experience higher than
average levels of socio-
economic d...
Recent policy trends
• Key themes: ‘parents’ choice’, schools’ competition.
• Independence and reduced LEAs control (Acade...
Parents concerns
• Concerns shared by many (migrant) parents: lack of discipline; too little
homework; the ‘streaming’ of ...
Parents concerns: a clash of expectations
• Some parents acknowledged some of the issues they face are due to a lack of
un...
Parents concerns: being stereotyped
• Some parents feel their children are ‘stereotyped’ (if not discriminated).
• Languag...
Children’s experiences
• For children the migration experience may be confusing, unexpected and
frightening. Their ability...
The role of migrant community education services
• Education services provided by migrant community organisations include:...
Building effective partnerships
• The role of community organisations is highly valued by parents and many
teachers, but e...
The issue of sustainability
• Recent years have seen the emergence of new challenges to the sustainability
of migrant and ...
Conclusions
• The increasing diversity of London schools presents challenges as well as
opportunities.
• Students achievem...
Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe
• This 5-year EU project “aims to provide insights into the processes that influen...
LONDON’S MIGRANT FAMILIES:
INTEGRATION AND EDUCATION
Overview of Current Challenges
Alessio D’Angelo, Senior Lecturer in S...
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London’s migrant families: integration and education - Overview of current challenges

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Presentation given by Alessio D’Angelo, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, Social Policy Research Centre (Middlesex University), at Renaisi's 2014 London schools conference

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London’s migrant families: integration and education - Overview of current challenges

  1. 1. LONDON’S MIGRANT FAMILIES: INTEGRATION AND EDUCATION Overview of Current Challenges Alessio D’Angelo, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences Social Policy Research Centre (Middlesex University)
  2. 2. Introduction This presentation builds on a number of ‘Knowledge Exchange’ projects undertaken within the Social Policy Research Centre (www.sprc.info) such as: • 2013-2018 - Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe (RESL.eu) • 2012-2013 - The Impacts, Challenges and Sustainability Issues of Supplementary Education. An evaluation of Paiwand Afghan Association education services. • 2011 - BAME Children in London: Educational Needs and the Role of Community Organisations. An evaluation of the education services of ‘Day-Mer’. • 2010 - Educational Needs of Newly Arrived Migrant and Refugee Families • 2009-2010 - Polish Pupils in London Schools: A Knowledge Exchange Project • 2008 - Polish children in London Primary Schools All these projects were characterised by a ‘community engagement approach’, production of tools and recommendations, dissemination with local communities and practitioners.
  3. 3. Migrant and BME pupils in London • School population in London is characterized by an increasing diversity. 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 % EAL pupils (primary and secondary schools) England London Inner London Outer London Main language spoken by pupils in London (2008)
  4. 4. Migrant and BME pupils in London - Underachievement • Overall improvement in the last decade • Persistent gaps among some groups and between boys and girls • High rates of emotional problems, truancy and exclusion
  5. 5. Socio-economic inequalities and welfare needs • Some BME groups experience higher than average levels of socio- economic deprivation. • The economic crisis and welfare restructuring are having a disproportionate effect on BME communities. • The impact is not just economic, but also on mental health and family relations 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% Census 2011 - Unemployment rate, by ethnic group (%) All BME Groups All Groups
  6. 6. Recent policy trends • Key themes: ‘parents’ choice’, schools’ competition. • Independence and reduced LEAs control (Academies and Free Schools). • Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) closed (2011) and ‘mainstreamed’ into the Direct Schools Grant (DSG). • Introduction of Pupil’s Premium in 2011 (calculated on FSM)
  7. 7. Parents concerns • Concerns shared by many (migrant) parents: lack of discipline; too little homework; the ‘streaming’ of children by ability; the fact that children progress according to age. “In Turkey (…) at the end of the year you would either fail and stay in the same class or you would pass, and you could say ‘my child is successful’ or ‘my child is unsuccessful’ (…) but here you don’t have anything like that. [Turkish mother] • Many feel they are unable to support their children. “No matter how much I try, I can’t really help them at home because my English is not very good, and my husband works so he comes home late in the evening” *Kurdish mother+
  8. 8. Parents concerns: a clash of expectations • Some parents acknowledged some of the issues they face are due to a lack of understanding of the British educational system. • Clashes of expectations may arise between parents and schools because of different, taken for granted assumptions on the role of education, the modes of parental engagement, the practices of communication. • On the other end, an English education is seen as an important asset for the children’s future. • Many parents value diversity in London schools as a great opportunity. (Though in some cases something they did not expect)
  9. 9. Parents concerns: being stereotyped • Some parents feel their children are ‘stereotyped’ (if not discriminated). • Language is the most widely mentioned issues, together with a feeling that this is sometimes used as an ‘excuse’ to overlook other issues “Schools always thinks because English is the second language perhaps that is why the child is struggling, then they don’t look into it any further” [Kurdish mother] • Behaviour is also an issue, as well as the risk that ‘quiet’ children do not get the support they need. “If the child is quiet, doesn’t say anything, doesn’t cause a problem, the teacher tells you your children is doing well at school” *Turkish mother+
  10. 10. Children’s experiences • For children the migration experience may be confusing, unexpected and frightening. Their ability to ‘get on’ is sometimes overestimated. • ‘Success’ in the new society may be measured by both parent and child in terms of how well the child is doing in school, learning the new language, making new friends. • Some parents and/or children may experience discrimination. “I got different reactions from people. I was surprised, because I have heard that English people are not a racist people, but I was very wrong… They didn’t treat me like someone equal to them. I was an immigrant to them, who should not have come to this country”. [Polish pupil]
  11. 11. The role of migrant community education services • Education services provided by migrant community organisations include: supplementary classes, Saturday schools, in-school support, parental engagement initiatives. • The impact of community education services: • Additional learning and language support. • Providing role models and foster sense of belonging. • Engaging parents (language support, information, education). • Strengthening links between schools and local communities. ”It’s easier to make friends here. We can relate to each other in this school ... feel safer” [Afghan girl about supplementary school] “I can’t really help my children with their homework (…) this place at least gives them the extra support that I can’t give them”.[Kurdish father]
  12. 12. Building effective partnerships • The role of community organisations is highly valued by parents and many teachers, but examples of successful partnerships are still limited. • The initial stages are often critical to avoid tensions and build effective partnerships between school and community organisation. • Some schools still see community education services as “a reminder of their own failure” and are concerned about “top-down approaches”. • The most successful partnerships took place where there was mutual respect and recognition of each other role.
  13. 13. The issue of sustainability • Recent years have seen the emergence of new challenges to the sustainability of migrant and BME community services. • ‘Marketisation’ of the Third Sector. • Community cohesion agenda (lack of funding for BME organisations). • End of EMAG programme. • Reduction of Council-wide initiatives. • Increased (super)diversity of London communities. • Ways forward: • Networking and partnerships between community organisations. • Knowledge exchange and shared resourced between schools. • More systematic approaches to evaluation.
  14. 14. Conclusions • The increasing diversity of London schools presents challenges as well as opportunities. • Students achievement and parents engagement require an ‘holistic’ approach. • Communication and engagement between schools, pupils, families and communities is key. • There is no ‘one fits all’ solution: contextualised and community specific interventions are the way forward. • New sustainable models of (community-based) support are needed.
  15. 15. Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe • This 5-year EU project “aims to provide insights into the processes that influence young people’s decision to leave school or training early, before gaining adequate qualifications for today’s demandinglabour market”. • 9 countries: Belgium, UK, Sweden, Portugal, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Hungary and Austria • UK research areas: Gateshead, Enfield and Barnet • Project involves: 3-year survey of students and staff; identify good practices (training programs, tutoring, internships, etc.) • We are still recruiting schools willing to be involved!
  16. 16. LONDON’S MIGRANT FAMILIES: INTEGRATION AND EDUCATION Overview of Current Challenges Alessio D’Angelo, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences Social Policy Research Centre (Middlesex University)
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