Breakfast Briefings

What is the role of schooling in the integration and settlement process of 'new' Polish migrants to the UK?

Breakfast Briefings / Friday 27 April 2012

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The EU Enlargement of 2004 entailed an intensive large-scale migration wave from Eastern European countries to the UK, in particular from Poland. The Polish community in the UK has thus grown significantly over the last few years and is now the single largest foreign national group resident in the UK. In consequence, there has also been a substantial increase in the numbers of Polish children entering schools across Britain in the recent years;  considering the fact that the UK is currently experiencing a ‘Polish baby boom’, this trend is likely to continue in the coming years.

In this context, we would like to explore the role of schooling in the integration and settlement process of these ‘new’ Polish migrants to the UK. How do the children and their parents experience school? What role do schools play as ‘sites for socialisation’? What is the role of locality on the process? How do educational issues impact on Polish parents’ decisions as to settlement or return?

The analysis is based on the results of a three-year ESRC-funded qualitative study entitled ‘International migration and its impact on family and household formation among Polish migrants living in England and Scotland’.

Speakers: Derek McGhee, University of Southampton, Paulina Trevena, CPC, University of Southampton, and Sue Heath, Morgan Centre, Manchester University