Refugees Welcome, Prejudice Isn’t

Pupils facing a teacher in a classroom.

Countering Prejudice and Building Inclusive School Communities

The current social and political climate has seen anti-refugee sentiment aired across mainstream and social media platforms, impacting young people’s attitudes, behaviours, and the well-being of refugee and asylum-seeking pupils. This negative rhetoric can lead to increased prejudice and bullying, making it crucial for schools to take proactive steps in creating a more inclusive and supportive environment.

Here are some starting points to counter prejudice and hate and build an inclusive school community.


Use the school website, newsletters, displays, posters, and assemblies to show that the school welcomes refugees and asylum seekers and values all children and the contributions they can make.

Celebrate refugee pupils’ contributions

Refugee children and their families are valuable additions to the community, bringing their strengths, abilities, and cultural knowledge into the classroom. Consider how you can celebrate this as part of your efforts to value every child’s cultural background and individual strengths.

Provide education for all pupils

Many young people are confused about what it means to be a “refugee”, “asylum seeker” or “immigrant” as the way in which they are spoken about in the media is confusing and inconsistent. Equip pupils with the correct terminology and create safe spaces where they can ask questions about current affairs, think critically about their opinions and ideas, and explore their place in the world.

Consistently challenge misinformation and prejudice

Ensure the school has a clear policy for recognising and responding to prejudice-related incidents that all staff and pupils are familiar with. Make sure all incidents are challenged, recorded, and followed up with support for both the target and the perpetrator.

Get involved

Encourage pupils to develop empathy and be active citizens, learning from and supporting refugees in their local community.  You could invite speakers from refugee backgrounds to share their experiences, participate in fundraising for local and international causes, watch relevant films, get involved in Refugee Week, and join the Schools of Sanctuary initiative.

EqualiTeach provides staff training, student workshops and consultancy services for schools and education settings throughout the UK. If you would like support with promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in your school or organisation, please contact us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content