Education Access Team

Education Access Team

What we do?

The Education Access Team offer a service to families who are new to the Bradford district who may need additional support to secure initial access to education. Alongside supporting the family to secure initial access to education, we offer support, advice and signposting based on the family’s wider support needs.

Referrals can be made by professionals or families themselves. Professionals can refer for support and signposting for families new to Bradford by submitting the Education Access referral form securely to The referral form should be accompanied by the ‘Consent to sharing information’ document that has been understood and signed by parent and young person (if applicable). Families can self-refer by contacting 01274 439393 or attending the drop-in on Tuesday’s between 9:00-12:00 at Britannia House, BD1 1EE.

We have a team of 5 Education Access Officer ‘s dedicated to offering support to family which may be through ad hoc support, advice and signposting or case work. Some of our staff have additional languages including Slovak, Polish and Czech but we can access almost any language through our partner, Enable2.


Interpreting and translation

Where an interpreter is required to support communication, schools and other professionals within Bradford MDC can book interpreters through Enable2 and translation through Supreme Linguistics

The Education Access Team will fund the provision of an interpreter to attend the initial admission meetings for children who are new to the country and require an interpreter. Please contact us or speak to the allocated Education Access Officer for further information.


Free School Meals (FSM)

The Education Access Team only support with FSM enquiries for Asylum Seekers. If you have any other queries relating to FSM, please contact 01274 432772.

Asylum Seeker pupils are eligible for free school meals if they are claiming asylum under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

The responsibility for checking the evidence of Asylum Seeker applicants for free school meals rests with the individual school, information about what evidence to seek from the family to prove their status is included in the 'Quick guide to refugees and asylum seekers' (below). The evidence should be sent to the Education Access team to ratify and confirm eligibility. Schools should update this on their systems to ensure the child receives free school meals as they will not show on the usual Bradford Schools Online list. Schools should continue to provide free school meals to these children for as long as they remain an Asylum Seeker. Schools should seek regular updates from families about their status because if their status changes, their free school meal eligibility may change. For example, families who have a positive decision and are granted refugee status may need to reapply through the usual free school meal application online.


Refugees and asylum seekers

Refugee and asylum seeker children have the same entitlement to education as other children in the UK however they can often find it harder to access education due a number of barriers which may include language, past experience and trauma. The Access Team aim to support refugee and asylum seekers into education through practical support and advice. The Access Team is also on hand to provide advice and support  to schools who have refugee and asylum seeker children on roll. Please see our 'Information for schools'. 


Schools of Sanctuary 

What is a School of Sanctuary?

The School of Sanctuary award is available to all school in the Bradford district. The award recognises and rewards good practice. Schools need to:

  1. Learn about what it means to be seeking sanctuary and about the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.
  2. Embed this knowledge and understanding in the curriculum and the daily life of the school.
  3. Share this new knowledge with the school’s wider community.

If you’d like to become a School or College of Sanctuary, please email and take a look at their website.

September 23 Newsletter

Autumn Term 2023 Training opportunities and student workshops

You can sign up to receive Bradford Schools and Colleges of Sanctuary newsletters via Mailchimp here.


Welcoming new pupils who arrive on a Refugee Resettlement Programme

A guide has been created to support schools in Bradford to welcome new pupils who are part of a Refugee Resettlement Programme.

The purpose of this document is threefold:

1. To provide schools with an overview of the programme, including how refugees are resettled and the processes and organisations involved.

2. To inform schools about the funding available to support pupils on this programme and how to access it.

3. To share good practice on welcoming new pupils to school and provide contact details of local support available.

Please click the link Working with Refugees: A guide for Bradford Schools 2022/23 to access the guide.


‘An introduction to working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers in schools’ training will soon be available free of charge for schools to book onto, to register your interest please email with your name, role, school and contact details.

Solace for resettlement families

Solace provide free therapeutic support for children, their family, and their place of education.

This support is available for refugee families who have arrived as part of the UNHCR Resettlement programmes (including the Vulnerable Persons, Vulnerable Children’s and the UK Resettlement Programme) with children, aged from 0 to 19, regardless of the severity of their symptoms (no lower limit).

Leaflet for parents

Leaflet for parents in Arabic

School leaflet

School poster

Brian Nilsson •

07899 304 905


GRT History Month events

1. Celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2024- Please join us with guest, Richard O’Neill to celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2024. Held on 28th June 2024 at 9:30-12:00. Aimed at staff in or working with schools. Booking via Celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2024 | Skills 4 Bradford


2. ‘Story into Song’ with Richard O’Neill and George Hoyle is an interactive online masterclass with a selection of unique, exciting and original stories through song. This will be held on Wednesday 26 June 2024 at 9.30am – 10.30am on Microsoft Teams. This event is for pupils aged 8-11. Booking via Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 'Story into Song' Online Event ( More info available in flyer or by emailing


Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boaters (GTRSB)

In Bradford there has been long standing support for GTRSB pupils; it has primarily focussed on initial access to education rather than maintaining engagement. Over the last few years, with the help of the DLUCH funded project in 2021, we have started to change the approach to engagement. Upon completion of the intensive, direct work of the project, a training package was developed, specifically aimed at supporting and developing the inclusion of GTRSB families & children in to the school community. 

That training package is now available to download HERE.  (note: large file so download may take some time)
Please give feedback on the training via - any written feedback can be sent to 

If you have any questions regarding the training package, please email in the first instance.


Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater Schools Pledge

The GTRSB Schools Pledge has been adapted from Buckinghamshire New University’s GTRSB into Higher Education Pledge. The school Pledge has been developed with additional consultation from schools, NGOs working with GRTSB families and GTRSB community members. The core commitments in the schools’ Pledge have been adapted with kind permission from the Anti Bullying Alliance’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities’ schools audit and action planning toolkit.  The GTRSB Schools’ Pledge consists of a firm commitment by your school to undertake certain steps to support access, retention, and outcomes in education for GTRSB pupils.

Find out more information here.


Contact details

Telephone: 01274 439393



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