Asylum seekers and refugees

Salford EMTAS works with schools to help them meet the needs of asylum and refugee children and to ensure that everything is being done to maximise the potential of these children.

Useful definitions

"A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it."
The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

In the UK, a person is officially a refugee when they have their claim for asylum accepted by the government.

Asylum seeker
A person who has left their country of origin and formally applied for asylum in another country but whose application has not yet been concluded.

Refused asylum seeker
A person whose asylum application has been unsuccessful and who has no other claim for protection awaiting a decision. Some refused asylum seekers voluntarily return home, others are forcibly returned and for some it is not safe or practical for them to return until conditions in their country change.

Economic migrant
Someone who has moved to another country to work. Refugees are not economic migrants.

Rights to an education
Both international and British law guarantee children access to education regardless of their immigration status, so, for example, to refuse a place at a school on grounds of immigration status would be discriminatory.

The UN Convention states in Article 28 that all parties recognise the rights of the child to education, and shall, in particular, make primary education compulsory and available free to all, and encourage the development of different forms of secondary education and make them available and accessible to every child.

Article 2 of the convention asserts the right to enjoyment of the convention rights without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, disability, birth or other status.

Who to contact

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact the team on 0161 778 0410 or email

This page was last updated on 15 March 2024

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