Access Team

Access Team

Formerly the New Communities and Travellers team.

What we do?

The Access team support families from Central and Eastern Europe, Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Travellers and vulnerable groups with access to education. The service also supports and signposts its client group, taking into account the wider family support needs; including SEN, Benefits, and Early Help. Specialist staff in the team advocate on behalf of families who are experiencing barriers in accessing appropriate education settings. There are workers within the team who speak languages including Slovak, Polish, Czech and Hungarian but we can also access most languages through our partner, Enable2.


Interpreting and translation

For any queries relating to interpreting and translation, please email or call 01274 439393.


Casual interpreters

Casual interpreters (Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian) can be booked through the Education Access team free of charge for interpreting and translation in relation to initial access to education. As they are casual, bookings depend on their availability. If they aren’t available or the booking does not meet the remit of initial access to education, bookings can be sought through the council’s suppliers; Enable2 and Supreme Linguistics.

Casual interpreters should only be used for the purpose of initial access to education, this might include:

  • Supporting families who have no English to take up their allocated school place through phone calls and translated letters
  • Translation of SEN documents in other languages for schools to support with enabling the child to access appropriate provision
  • Addressing barriers and concerns that are preventing that initial take-up of education (first half-term)

The casual interpreters should not be:

  • Supporting schools to conduct welfare or attendance checks on children who have been on their roll longer than a half-term
  • Supporting schools to relay messages in relation to health matters or medical needs
  • Translating content that is not in relation to children starting and attending school


Free School Meals (FSM)

The 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 'Quick guide to refugees and asylum seekers'.

Autumn 2022 update

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.

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

How to make a referral for support with access to education?

Referrals to the Access Team can be made by any professional on behalf of the family by completing the referral form and sending it to

Please ensure that families have consented to the referral, where possible getting consent to sharing information form signed by the family prior to making a referral.

Families can self-refer by contacting us on 01274 439393 or they can attend our drop-in, details below.



The Access Team run a drop-in at Britannia House, every Tuesday morning between 9:30-11:30am during term-time. If families are being signposted to the drop-in, they are asked to attend with the children needing school places and with copies of their ID and tenancy documents.

*Drop-in is currently suspended due to COVID-19*


Contact details

Telephone: 01274 439393



Page owned by Amy Petschak, last updated on 11/11/2022. This page has been viewed 10,543 times.