The overview of refugee children education in Europe we provide in this book is part of the Erasmus + project “ITIRE: Improving teaching to improve refugee children education”. Following the unprecedented flow of forced migrants to Europe in 2015, several countries have adopted measures to facilitate the enrolment of refugee children in the educational system. These actions have produced a positive impact on reaffirming the right to education, which is important for all children, but assumes a special relevance for those who have been uprooted and sometimes separated from their families. However, while there is wide consensus at the European level on the idea that school is a protective factor for refugee children, educational policies and practices are still mostly developed only at the national and, above all, local level. Although refugee children have specific profiles in terms of educational needs and potentials, they are often offered programmes that have been designed having other kinds of migrant students in mind. Moreover, most of the knowledge and good practices developed by institutions working in different European countries and regions tend to remain at the local level. Cultural and linguistic barriers still widespread in Europe are partly responsible for this fragmentation. Nevertheless, improvements in this area are undoubtedly held back by the current political climate, in which the refugee topic is seen as extremely delicate and, consequently, put often aside. Our book aims to contribute overcoming this stalemate, by providing an outline of policies and practices brought about in Europe regarding refugee children’s education. Dissemination of existing knowledge would help not only enhance educational interventions, but also inspire practitioners working in this field, who frequently feel isolated while they do their best to support children with forced migration background. The collection of information has been divided by identifying five broad European areas. This option has been adopted only for functional reasons. It doesn’t imply that these areas have clear features and trends in common, even though some shared patterns can be detected. Moreover, a relevant share of information concerning refugee education is published only in the national languages. Accordingly, we made an effort to retrieve all relevant data accessible in several European languages. However, data available widely vary depending on the country examined or, more precisely, on the level the country has been affected by the refugee waves and/or able to carry out research on refugee children’s education. This is especially evident regarding good practices, which are rarely recognised and documented in-depth. Regardless of these limitations, we hope this publication will provide researchers and practitioners with a more systematic picture of current refugee children’s education in Europe. This, in turn, would enable us to develop more effective strategies in this critical sector.

ISBN: 8776845265