Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality Fiona O’Loughlin TD says the Government needs to put in place greater supports to assist migrant children in accessing education in Ireland.

Deputy O’Loughlin made the comments after the ESRI published a new report which highlights how migrant children face significant challenges in progressing from primary to second level education.

Deputy O’Loughlin said, “The ESRI’s ‘Social Relationships and the Transition to Second-Level Education’ report clearly outlines the difficulties facing migrant children in progressing through Ireland’s education system. The report highlights how migrant children usually have a smaller family support network as compared to other children. This in turn makes it more difficult for migrant children to successfully transition into second level education.

“The report also points out how migrant children tend to have weaker relationships with teachers. This is a significant problem as relationship with teachers is a very significant influence on young people’s confidence as learners. Young people who experience positive interaction with their second-level teachers are less likely to experience adjustment difficulties.

“It’s clear that additional supports need to be put in place to assist migrant children in settling into our education system. It’s important that migrant children are afforded the opportunity to properly integrate into Irish society, and this process starts within the education system. The Government needs to put in place additional special education supports to ease the transition into our education system for migrant children. Failure to do so will only lead to significant integration problems in years to come,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.