Student teachers learn together with families seeking asylum in Toxteth

Toxteth womens centre teachers web banner 835 x 500

Pictured L-R: LJMU's Lizzie Yeomans and teachers Nicole Kate, Luke Brennan and Ruby Sylvester

A group of student teachers, who have just completed their LJMU Primary Education PGDE, are working with families seeking asylum in Liverpool to provide education sessions for children without a place at school.

In the first session that took place this week, the students read stories, undertook phonics exercises and led writing activities with the children who are being supported through Toxteth’s Women’s Centre.

Toxteth womens centre teachers 2 web banner 835 x 500The families have come to the UK from the Middle East, Asia and North African countries, fleeing from political unrest or civil war. While they follow the process for claiming asylum many of the children are unable to attend a local school and have limited time each week with teachers.

Lizzie Yeomans, Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education at LJMU’s School of Education, said: “Our aim is to promote an awareness among our student teachers of the barriers some children face, and to provide an experience where the students will have the chance to build relationships with families who are seeking asylum.

“Not every child that our teachers will go on to work with will speak English as a first language and many will have overcome adversity before walking through the school doors each day. It’s vital that as we train the next generation of teachers, we prepare them for the challenges that they will face in teaching incredibly diverse groups of children. And in doing so, we’re also supporting the communities that are embedded here in Liverpool.”

LJMU’s School of Education is determined to ensure that all trainee teachers have the opportunity to work in settings away from schools, where they can better understand the barriers that face some children in their early education.

The school hopes to continue the relationship with Toxteth Women’s Centre into the next academic year and to offer regular teacher training sessions that support both the students’ learning and that of the children setting up home in Merseyside.

Elsewhere in the School of Nursing and Allied Health, LJMU continues to support refugee nurses to join the NHS. The pilot scheme is the first of its kind in the country. LJMU pioneers nursing 'transition' course for refugees.  


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