Including migrant learners in education: Voices of primary school pupils in England

Helen Hanna

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    This article considers preliminary findings from a small-scale qualitative study that is currently underway (2015—2016). The study explores how inclusion of new and recent migrant children in education is understood and enacted by primary school learners and their teachers in England, a country that has seen significant immigration from a range of countries. The paper focuses on responses from pupils and, given the scope of the M2B workshop, includes findings from among Indonesian primary school pupils who have migrated to England.
    Children are often at the forefront of working out the meaning and implication of being a new arrival in a different country. As pupils in the state school system, they are in an environment that emphasises “integration” – adapting to new rules, making new friends, and possibly learning a new language. However, little research is focused on how children feel about this new environment and the extent to which they feel included within it. Therefore, this article offers the findings from research that maintains such a focus, drawing on participants’ views that emerged through the use of the creative visual methods of picturebooks and photography. The article gives an overview of key issues in migration and education that will be relevant to Indonesian migrants, including migrant children's rights and entitlements within education in England. It also illustrates theoretical development that is underway in terms of a framework that combines notions of inclusion and migration. More specifically, informed by the findings, it upholds and elaborates this framework that views inclusion as involving participation and educational access with regard to access to the curriculum and as well as to the classroom culture. It closes by sharing some emerging guidelines for inclusion of migrant children within schools.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2016
    EventMaximising Migration Benefits: Indonesian Migrant Workers from Security to Development: British Council Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop - Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
    Duration: 19 Sept 201621 Sept 2016

    Academic conference

    Academic conferenceMaximising Migration Benefits: Indonesian Migrant Workers from Security to Development


    • Education
    • migration
    • creative methods
    • voice


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