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Why we changed our name

For 10 years we were Refugee Support Network. Now we've changed our name to reflect our focus on education.

Whether for young refugees needing support, education practitioners or policy makers needing advice, training or expertise, or supporters and partners who want to change the world by investing in refugee education, we want to be easy to find because we're ready to help.

Young refugees and asylum seekers told us that when they most needed education support, nothing in our old name told them that this is exactly what we do.

We provide education expertise in the forced migration sector, and forced migration expertise in the education sector.

No child chooses to be a refugee. Every child and young person deserves the chance to build a hopeful future. Since we began ten years ago, in a back room with no employees and no money, we've believed that education - an inherently forward looking embodiment of hope - can help to level the playing field. We are so grateful to each person who has been a part of our story so far - and we're excited to continue the journey together as Refugee Education UK.

During that time, we have regularly had to turn away referrals made solely for legal advice, housing support and medical care: things we do not have the resources to provide as stand alone support. At the same time, the young people we work with told us that when they most needed education support, we were hard to find - because nothing in our name told them that this was exactly what we did.

By changing our name from Refugee Support Network to Refugee Education UK, we'll be easier to find for those who need to find us, whether its young people, practitioners or policy makers. 

Hear from our CEO Catherine Gladwell

"Since the day we started ten years ago, pretty much everything we’ve done has been about education for young refugees and asylum seekers.

Just under half of all school-age refugee children are out of school around the world - and by university-age, only 3% are enrolled in higher education.

Here on our own doorstep, getting into school, and moving forward in education is also a battle for young refugees. Our recent research, in partnership with Unicef UK, shows that some refugee children wait up to 9 months to start school after arriving in the UK. For those who do get places, the impact of disrupted education and trauma combine to make it hard to thrive. When they are ready to progress, they face a multitude of complex barriers that make it very difficult to build a positive future."

"As Refugee Education UK, we will continue to tackle the education and wellbeing challenges faced by young refugees and asylum seekers, as we structure our work around three core goals:

Facilitating access: So that all refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people are able to access an appropriate level of education from primary through to tertiary education.

Improving outcomes: So that all refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people thrive in education, reaching their academic potential and experiencing high levels of psychosocial wellbeing.

Ensuring impact: So that all refugee and asylum- seeking young people, and the communities they are part of (both countries of origin and host countries) benefit from the investment in education."

"Currently, over 550 young people each year benefit from our direct work - providing timely and accurate advice, support and advocacy about access to all levels of education; matching young people with volunteer educational mentors to help them reach their academic goals; providing holistic casework and wellbeing support to those who are struggling; and training young leaders to be the change they want to see in the world. 

Our capacity building work with schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations helps to embed change and amplify good practice, and our research examines refugee education globally, contributing to the evidence base on what does, and doesn’t, work.

We are so grateful to each person who has been part of our story so far - and we’re excited to continue the journey together as Refugee Education UK."

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