RESIDENTS have been thanked for their warm welcome to Ukrainian’s as it is revealed that more than 180 Dorset school places have been offered to children fleeing the conflict.

The figures, from Dorset Council, show that 183 Ukrainian pupils have been offered school places in Dorset as of July 15.

A further 24 pupils are currently in the admissions process and a small number have returned to Ukraine. As of July 15, Dorset Council have received a total of 210 applications for school places.

As Ukrainian people are continuing to arrive in Dorset, the number of children requiring a school place is a ‘constantly evolving picture’ and will continue to change over time.

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Cllr Andrew Parry, Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help, said: “Our school admissions team manages this process on behalf of schools across the county and Dorset schools have stepped up to offer a warm welcome to Ukrainian children, for which we are grateful. We are confident that they will continue as we welcome more children to the county.

“We are proud of the warm welcome offered by Dorset residents to all refugees fleeing conflict. This is made possible by the network of partners that works with the council to provide support to hosts and to the refuges who have had to flee their homes in very difficult circumstances.

“The Dorset Together network includes the council, NHS, Public Health Dorset, emergency services, faith groups, Volunteer Centre Dorset, Dorset Race Equality Council, Help and Kindness, work effectively together to coordinate the county’s response.”

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The UK Government currently operates resettlement schemes for refugees and migrants leaving Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong – many of whom are families with children.

The Government estimated 11,400 applications have been made for Ukrainian child refugees nationally up to May 27, of which nearly 10,000 had been given offers – including around 1,200 in the South West.

A further 5,400 Afghan and 8,000 Hong Kong pupils have been offered places in English schools, according to estimates.

The figures were compiled through a survey given to local authorities, with 77% of councils responding.

Separate data from the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show 784 refugees had been given visas in Dorset under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme as of July 5, 575 of which have arrived in the UK.