The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as anyone under the age of 18.
The ICAM programme intends to help any children affected by migration. They and their families may be asylum seekers, refugees, economic or social migrants. They may have been accompanied by their families, travelled alone or been left behind by parents working elsewhere. They may have been fleeing war or other disasters and may have encountered great difficulties on their journeys. They may know that their future is now secure in their new host country or be uncertain how long they will stay.
Because each student’s story and experiences will be different, it is important to recognise their individuality and not to treat CAM as a homogeneous group. Each school may describe their population of CAM differently. However, the task of the programme will be to draw on participants’ experience, extract some common themes and suggest ways of meeting the needs that are identified that will be of general use to schools with CAM.
The purpose of the ICAM Programme
At the heart of the ICAM Programme is the concept of ‘convivencia’ – a Spanish word meaning ‘living together in harmony’ and the knowledge that children do not learn well if they are unhappy, insecure or frightened.
The purpose of the ICAM Programme is to increase the inclusion, and to improve the learning capacity, of children affected by migration (CAM) by enhancing the climate of convivencia in schools and at home, by raising awareness about children’s rights and the law protecting them, and by providing additional support in school and in the family for their social and emotional learning and general wellbeing.
The Programme will achieve this through the professional development of ICAM school leaders so they can increase the capacity of schools to maintain a safe and secure learning environment and enhance Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).Trained ICAM school leaders will work to improve the learning capacity of all students and provide for the additional SEL needs of those affected by migration, helping them to overcome the disadvantage they face as a result of the separation, trauma and loss they have suffered.
An important feature of ICAM is the integration of parent/carer education with the school-based programme in order to provide additional support for those families affected by migration and to encourage on-going SEL for the whole family in the home.
Current and future activity (ICAMnet)
We are developing models across four European countries to evaluate the most effective methods to engage with large numbers of primary and secondary schools within existing geographical partnerships (counties, Local Authorities, MATs, etc.).
Work has begun in Coventry, a city of refuge with a deep commitment to support migrant families.
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We are keen to replicate the work in other areas of the UK.
Please contact Achievement for All if you would like to explore possibilities.