Every child has a right to education – A statement on school children and EU Settled Status

Some schools have been issuing notices to parents that threaten their child’s place in school if they haven’t received EU Settled Status by the 31st October, from what we have learned. Here is a picture of a recent example

(source: twitter.com/NeilPollyTicks)

We can categorically state that this is not true. Under UK law, every child has the right to compulsory education irrespective of immigration status. During a child’s enrolment, schools are allowed to ask parents to provide evidence of their child’s legal name, date of birth and address but no more than that.

Parents do not need to prove their nationality or immigration status as schools are not legally obliged to check for this. Please contact us if you know of any further examples or need advice. The Home Office has recently confirmed that EU citizens’ status and entitlements to services, work and benefits will not change at least until after 31st December 2020.

It is deeply troubling that in all the confusion of a possible No Deal Brexit, schools are issuing such alarming misinformation. Unfortunately this is not the first time that schools in England have sent out incorrect immigration-related information. Soon after the EU Referendum back in July 2016, the Department for Education instructed schools to ask parents for their children’s nationality and country of birth details which has resulted in some schools unlawfully requesting that parents to bring in their children’s passports even asking non-white parents to prove their children were not asylum seekers

Against Borders for Children was founded in August 2016 to resist attempts by Theresa May, the then Home Secretary, to turn schools into a hostile environment. Our campaign has succeeded in removing 2 – 5 years old from this data collection and preventing this sensitive data from being added to the National Pupil Database. Last year we stopped the nationality questions from being asked by schools.

There is still more to do and we are working to end the use of children’s addresses being accessed by the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes. We also support NELMA’s work in ensuring every child has a right not to go hungry at school. We believe that schools should be welcoming and safe havens for every child, free from the intrusive policies of the UK Home Office immigration enforcement. 

We will continue to campaign for every child’s right to go to school and feel safe. Click here for updates from our latest campaign news and resources to stop borders and division in our schools.

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