In 2016, a group of 55 Syrian quota refugees arrived in Iceland from Lebanon and settled in three municipalities. There were 11 families comprising 20 adults and 35 children. This study1 aimed to critically explore the experiences, opportunities and challenges of these children, their parents, their teachers and principals in the municipalities of their resettlement since their arrival in Iceland. The theoretical framework of the study includes critical approaches to education, and multilingual education for social justice. Methods of data collection included semi-structured interviews with the refugee parents, the head teachers and teachers in all the schools in the study. While the findings indicate that most of the children were doing well both academically and socially in their first months in the schools, they also show that the children and parents have experienced a number of challenges. These included illiteracy, interrupted schooling of the children and hidden trauma before arriving in Iceland. After arrival, the parents have experienced lack of communication between schools and homes, as well as differences in norms, values, languages, and expectations between the schools and homes.

DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2020.1764294
ISSN: 1748-2623