One of the UK’s top independent schools groups, which owns and manages seven outstanding preparatory schools across the UK, including one on The Wirral, is offering free places to Ukrainian children displaced by the war in their home country.
Founded in 2016, Forfar Education, which has a strong family ethos at its heart, currently owns and manages several of the UK’s leading prep schools. These include Prenton Preparatory School on The Wirrall, Cameron Vale in Chelsea, Horris Hill in Newbury, The Gleddings in Halifax, Brackenfield School in Harrogate, Park School in Bournemouth, and Argyle House School in Sunderland. The group has opened its arms to Ukrainian children in urgent need of nurturing and safe spaces to learn.
The first schools to have Ukrainian children join their classes are Prenton, Brackenfield, and Park School, which are all proud to be part of the wider humanitarian effort to allow displaced children a semblance of home when they enter a friendly and supportive classroom environment.
CEO of the Forfar Group John Forsyth said he felt their schools have a moral duty to support Ukrainian families as they settle into UK life. He said: “Recent data from the Department for Education highlighted that 1 in 10 children that have fled to the UK from Ukraine hadn’t yet enrolled in a school and that UK state schools may not have the necessary space and facilities to safely accommodate all the children requiring education, so independent schools have been encouraged to give spaces to those in need.”
“Forfar had taken the decision to offer free places to Ukrainian children fleeing conflict at the time the war broke out, so we’re proud to be leading the way for other independent schools considering doing the same.”
Forfar has offered places in all of their schools, with no limit of the number of spaces available.
Prenton Prep school in The Wirral has already welcomed two children who are settling in well. The staff giving them extra support to make sure they feel safe and comfortable in their learning environment and have a fair opportunity to thrive.
Mike Jones, Head teacher at Prenton Prep, said: “We are honoured to welcome these extremely brave and resilient children into our community and to the school. We are doing all we can to ensure our new pupils are fitting into school life and are getting the same opportunities as everyone else. Everyone deserves an education in a safe and caring space and we’re proud to be hosting Ukrainian children in our school. The children have already made them part of the Prenton Prep family.
“It’s a valuable and important learning opportunity for our other students as well. They can learn first-hand about Ukrainian culture, gain a better understanding of the world around us and see with their own eyes that lending a hand makes the world a better place.”
It’s believed that 2.5 million children have fled Ukraine since the start of the war, many leaving everything behind and being displaced for months before arriving in a safe country.
John Forsyth added: “It’s important to show solidarity in times of crisis. We believe everyone has the right to a good and safe education, which is why we have opened our doors to those who need it most exactly when they need our help.
“Our schools pride themselves on helping the communities in which they were founded, organising regular charity events as well as taking opportunities to learn about our neighbours. We want our children to grow into responsible adults therefore it is vital that they learn to take care of people in need and to put into practice the skills and values we instil in them from their first day in our classrooms – curiosity, consideration, patience, confidence and most importantly, kindness.”