Morley’s Afghan evacuee project attracts Ministerial attention

Morley College London’s work to support Afghan evacuees through providing education for both 16-18 year olds and adult learners has attracted the attention of Schools Standards Minister Robin Walker.

Mr. Walker visited Morley’s North Kensington Centre last week and met students from the area who were evacuated from Afghanistan in last summer’s evacuation.

He was accompanied by Shabnam Nasimi, Policy Adviser at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

A project for Afghan adult learners…

Morley was approached in November by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to run a pilot to support Afghan evacuees newly arrived in the UK.

The success of this orientation programme – delivered in hotels in the Kensington and Chelsea area – led to the Home Office and Ministry of Defence requesting local authorities from across the UK to adopt the process.

Staff from Morley’s North Kensington Centre have since delivered the project another two times, led by Head of Arts and Humanities Dr. Rohini Kapur.

…and for younger learners too

North Kensington’s Essential Skills team – headed up by Sobia Butt – has subsequently devised a study programme for young Afghan learners. This mirrors the requirements of all study programmes and furthermore develops the English skills of the enrolled learners alongside Maths and ICT.

The group is made up of both male and female learners, who attend the college three days a week. Morley has also been taking ESOL classes into the hotels for those not yet ready to make the trip out to a college centre, along with mobile ‘jewellery making for wellbeing’ classes specifically for the Afghan evacuees.

In total, over 100 students have benefited from the project to date. Centre Principal Craig Hanlon-Smith said: “Our Afghan students have settled in really well, given their individual circumstances and having come to Morley with – in English terms – a non-traditional education. They seem very happy to be in college, and are progressing well on a course that’s designed specifically for them.”

Group of students with their tutor
Morley’s young Afghan students with their specialist tutor