Schools across Europe grapple with trauma, language barriers as Ukrainian students arrive

With an estimated 2.7 million children having fled Ukraine since March, schools across Europe are beginning to welcome children displaced by the Russian invasion into their classrooms.

Children have begun to enrol en-masse at schools in the Eastern European countries that a high proportion of Ukrainian families have fled to. Over 10,000 children have already registered in Lithuanian schools.

Meanwhile, countries further away from the war have seen smaller – but still significant – numbers of refugee children entering their education systems. In Ireland, some 4,000 Ukrainian children had enrolled into schools in April. And, with over 86,000 visas issued to Ukrainians by the UK government, schools across the country will soon see more refugee children in their classrooms.

Megan Greenwood, schools coordinator at Schools of Sanctuary, a network that helps schools support forcibly-displaced children, calls the response “heartwarming and inspiring” but emphasises that we “must not forget that there are people from all sorts of countries who are coming to the UK to seek sanctuary and every child deserves a warm welcome”.

Schools of Sanctuary is seeing a surge in demand as teachers grapple with how best to help newly-arrived students, many of whom are unable to speak English.

More information: