'Adult asylum seekers placed in schools alongside pupils as young as 11' headteachers say

'Adult asylum seekers placed in schools alongside pupils as young as 11' headteachers say
Published: 2014 October 17 10:31:16 (9269 Views)
Headteachers in the UK claim that adult asylum seekers, as old as 21, pretending to be children are being placed in schools alongside pupils as young as 11.

Schools in Kent believe some people as old as 21 have lied about their ages, prompting concern over the safety of children in schools.

Michael Walters, headteacher at St Anselm's RC Secondary School in Canterbury, said immigrant children - who arrive without parents - were being placed in schools in a 'random and haphazard' way with few checks on their backgrounds or ages.

Mr Walters said: 'While we have great sympathy with those unaccompanied asylum seekers who arrive in England in need of education and support, this does present a difficult position for schools.

'We are being asked to admit pupils to our schools with very little information about him (sic).

'Sometimes there is doubt about where they come from, and what age they are.'

Mr Walters said the majority come from or claim to come from war-torn countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iraq, or from Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.



Headteacher Nicki Martin said: 'While many of these are genuine cases and we will do all that we can to support these young people, a minority are not.

Kent County Council, the local education authority,insisted today it assesses unaccompanied asylum seekers 'rigorously' before finding them school places.

But admitted 'in very rare cases where asylum seeking children have been found to be older than the age they claimed'. 

A spokesman said: 'Asylum seeking children are treated the same as other children in care.

'They are vulnerable young people who have often had a very difficult and traumatic journey to arrive in the UK.'

'In very rare cases where asylum seeking children have been found to be older than the age they claimed, action has immediately been taken to remove them from school and to inform police and the Home Office.

'In such cases, there is no evidence to suggest other pupils have been placed at risk.'




Source - DailyMail

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