This paper describes the role of schools in supporting the overall development of refugee children and the importance of peer interactions. It argues that the UK school into which a refugee child arrives can be considered an extreme setting. Refugee and asylum-seeking adolescents were interviewed following their contact with a school-based mental health service. The social recognition granted to them by peers in ‘moments of change’ gave them the motivation to change, the confidence to seek psychological help, to study harder and make more friends. It concludes that schools in extreme settings are often the best placed institution to address the psychosocial needs of children and should therefore adopt this enhanced role.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.12.006
ISSN: 0738-0593