Educators’ attitudes are a key factor in the practices they enact, their expectations for pupils, and outcomes for pupils. For newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeking children, education is known to play a crucial role in the settling-in process. This study uses survey data (n = 295) and case studies of 17 educators at two schools in England to examine the attitudes of educators towards refugee pupils. It finds that educators had relatively positive attitudes towards refugee pupils and that previous relevant experience was associated with positivity. Educators at case study schools saw refugee pupils as assets, emphasised refugee pupils’ resilience, and blamed difficulties encountered on the education system rather than pupils. In the survey, previous experience teaching refugee pupils was associated with more positive attitudes towards them. While the direction of causality in this relationship was unclear, the case studies provided examples of educators attributing their positive attitudes to their interactions with refugee pupils and experiences working in multicultural schools. The study contributes to literature showing that intergroup contact improves attitudes towards outgroups and proposes that the relationship between school and individual educators’ attitudes could be seen as a ‘virtuous circle’ of positivity. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

DOI: 10.1080/14675986.2023.2265305
ISSN: 14675986