This paper reports findings from a doctoral study that investigated how young refugees and their families encounter England’s education system. All children have the right to education in England; however, there are no specific educational policies for young refugees’ education. Their invisibility in policy makes it more challenging for them to access appropriate support and contributes to them being portrayed through a deficit-based lens. Due to limited school–home partnerships, educators may often be unaware that people with ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ statuses face various barriers in and outside of school, further disadvantaging them. In this doctoral research, I drew on the concept of funds of knowledge (FofK) to highlight young refugees’ and their families’ practices and knowledge(s). I conducted a critical ethnography combined with arts-based activities to investigate young people’s and their families’ experiences and perspectives of education. Based on the research findings, I argue that families’ FofK can be used as resources for teaching and learning and to help overcome deficit-based views of young learners. An FofK framework may help schools establish young people’s and families’ expectations, understand their circumstances in England and build deeper school–home partnerships. © 2023 The Authors. British Educational Research Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Educational Research Association.

DOI: 10.1002/berj.3946
ISSN: 01411926