The right to education for all children, including asylum-seeking children, is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, there is little research available to describe the educational provision provided to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) in England. Crucially, it is not known whether the educational needs are met by the provision available to UASC. In the most recent figures, the number of UASC in England has risen by 130% since 2013, to 4,480. Schools, ‘virtual schools’ responsible for children in care, social workers, and policymakers wish to know how this population is currently being served and how they might better serve them. This paper presents the findings from a mapping exercise on education available to UASC in England including 12 semi-structured interviews with virtual school heads, teachers, social workers, and charity education providers; document analysis; a workshop at the Department of Education with key stakeholders; and summary statistics. It highlights gaps in data and provision; conceptualises types of provision into bespoke, mainstream, and English language; and analyses how provision interacts with assessment and support needs. What emerges is a framing of provision through an integration lens and an agenda for future research and practice.

DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2019.1607274
ISSN: 0305-4985