IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE students present module research findings on pop-up house outside the Department for Education

4 June 2019

Students from UCL Institute of Education’s (IOE) Education Studies BA programme have marched to the Department for Education (DfE) to present findings from their work as part of a module on 'Educating and Organising for Social Justice'.

New university students talking outside

As part of the module, students have a hands-on opportunity to learn community organising skills and participate in a local community organising project.

The students worked with Citizens UK on the topic of ‘the hostile environment in the UK’ and its impact on schools. They discovered from their research that schools are missing out on thousands of pounds of support for their children from funds including the Pupil Premium and Free School Meals, despite many of the children being British citizens, because of the immigration status of their parents.

Over 70 teachers and students from eight London schools, plus students from the IOE built a pop-up house outside the DfE calling for a more hospitable, rather than hostile, environment in schools.

As part of their work with Citizens UK, students, parents and teachers have compiled a report on the impact of the hostile environment on schools, which calls for children to receive Free School Meals regardless of the immigration status of their parent.

The pupils hope the pop-up house, decorated with their artwork, stories and poetry, provides an insight into the impact the current situation has on everyday life for them. 

In addition to the pop-up house, the group hope delivered the report to a representative from the DfE.

They called for a meeting with a DfE minister to present the recommendations coming out of their research, including making Free School Meals and Pupil Premium available to all children in need regardless of citizenship status and the need for the DfE to investigate and redress the impacts of the current policies on children’s academic and emotional wellbeing.