Description of Contents
This document talks about immigrant children, who are defined here as either children born in another
country (within or outside Europe) or children whose parents or grandparents were born in another
country. So the term 'immigrant children' used here covers various situations, which can be referred to
in other contexts as 'newly-arrived children', 'migrant children' or 'children of immigrant background'.
Such children may be born to families with different legal status in the host country – families with full
rights of residence and refugee status, asylum seeking families, or families without any rights of
residence. Children from families who have been settled in the host country for more than two
generations do not come within the scope of the paper.
Measures specifically targeting migrants within a country, such as the Roma and various kinds of
travellers, and those aimed at ethnic or national minority groups are not subject to a comparative
analysis in this paper. However, such measures are mentioned when children from immigrant families
benefit from them, and there are no alternative measures targeted at immigrant communities.
The information provided relates to the reference year 2007/08. It comes from questionnaires filled in
by the national units of the Eurydice network, other than Turkey. It covers pre-primary, primary and
secondary levels of general education, provided by the public sector or the subsidised private sector
(Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands). Statistical data provided by Eurostat, the PISA and PIRLS
2006 surveys and certain national sources are also used.
This paper is relevant as it touches on a very important point: ‘’immigrant students’’ in the European Countries. The immigrant student profile described in the project covers not only children who are born in another country, also it covers children whose parent or even grandparents were born in another country. According to this, the term ‘immigrant children’ used here covers various situations, whch can be referred to in other contexts as ‘newly-arrived children’, ‘migrant children’ or ‘children of immigrant background’.
One other aspect mentioned in this paper is the monther tongue tuitition. Mother tongue tuition is offered to immgirant students in a variety of forms, not all of which are specifically designed for these children. Some countries offer a combinational approach such as tuition for immigrant pupils organized under bilateral agreements together with tuition organize and funded by the national education system or tuition for immigrant puplis coupled eith a closer correspondence between the provision of foreign languages and the languages spoken by the immigrant communities established in the country. Mostly, mother tongue tuition is provided at compulsory education level rather than at upper secondary education level. There is also the fact that in different countries, mother tongue tuition can be offered outside the school framework. Many countries have adopted measures to support the mother tongue tuition but the implementation of these depends largely on the pre-existing human resources in the country.