Within the context of our general and North Cambridge Academy bursary programmes, we also recognise the part that the Foundation can play in responding to humanitarian crises. We can do this by offering school places to a number of young people seeking international protection, where we are satisfied that we can meet their needs, potentially transforming lives. In particular, the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, led to a series of families contacting the Foundation seeking places for children and young people displaced by the war and living in the Cambridge area under the UK government’s Ukraine scheme. Through our bursary places for young people displaced by conflict, we aim to:
- contribute to the national humanitarian effort by providing education, support and normality to young people seeking international protection, or experiencing hardship due to conflict;
- utilise our experience of offering places to date as a model to provide a life-changing educational opportunity to other suitable young people;
- consider approaches being made to the Foundation by the wider community seeking places for students who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict;
- carefully assess each application and offer places where the Stephen Perse Foundation is the right environment;
- generate and share a sense of collective pride, purpose and social responsibility within and beyond our community; and
- prioritise young people, where we feel that we can have a positive impact.
In the second half of 2021/22, two students who fled Ukraine early in the war settled into the Foundation, one to Year 10 and one to the Sixth Form, followed by a third student, who entered our Sixth Form late in 2022. We continue to work with them and their families to offer education and pastoral support suitable for their circumstances.