Since the war in Syria started in 2011, many children left their war-torn country, alone or together with their families, and fled to neighboring countries in the Middle East, to Turkey or to Europe. This article will compare how Syrian refugee children are included – or not – in school systems both in Europe (Sweden, Germany and Greece) and outside Europe (Turkey and Lebanon). These five countries represent very different ways of receiving children in their educational system. We will compare national institutional arrangements like access to compulsory school, access after compulsory school age, welcome or immersion classes, second language education and tracking mechanisms. Including children as soon as possible in regular classes seems to provide the best chances for school success, whereas educating refugee children in a segregated parallel school system for extended periods often results in early school leaving or not attending school at all.

DOI: 10.1186/s40878-018-0110-6
ISSN: 2214-594X