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Luxembourg to bring in school integration plan

A new initiative will be implemented this summer aiming to improve the integration process for international students as they join Luxembourg’s school system.

Every year, around 4,000 students from overseas join Luxembourg's school system

The Service for Integration and Admission in School initiative will serve as a comprehensive resource for families arriving in Luxembourg to familiarise themselves with the local education system.

Before relocating to the European country, parents will be able to contact the SIA for information about available schooling options and gather information about the students’ academic history.

Every year, around 4,000 students from overseas join Luxembourg’s school system, either because their parents have relocated for work or they have been forced to flee their home countries.

The legislation, presented by Minister of Education Claude Meisch earlier in June, will be voted on in the Chamber of Deputies before the summer recess.

Pierre Reding, director for Integration at the Ministry of Education, explained that the SIA will not only consider linguistic abilities but also assess the child’s previous academic experience, skills in different subjects, their family’s aspirations and length of stay in the Grand Duchy.

The goal is to match each child with a suitable school environment that meets their individual needs and circumstances.

Reding also highlighted the importance of collaboration between the SIA, families and schools. Previously, schools often lacked preparation to receive new students, leading to a lack of information transfer.

The SIA will facilitate communication between the service, the chosen school, and the incoming students’ families, ensuring a smooth transition and sharing vital information about the students and their educational backgrounds.

The integration service will also promote interculturality within schools, encouraging them to incorporate it into their development plans beyond mere cultural events. Reding emphasised the need to equip teachers with the necessary skills to effectively engage with diverse student populations.

The SIA will address orientation questions for both primary and secondary schools and provide support for up to two years.

The service will also include document translation for families who do not speak the local languages. Cultural mediators will be available to facilitate a smooth transition between cultures and languages for the students.

To promote better integration, teachers and peers will also receive information about the new student’s background, nationality and languages spoken.

Meisch emphasised the importance of ensuring quality education for all students, while recognising the need for further progress based on national and international education studies.

The SIA team, already in place, consists of 35 professionals, supported by 11 full-time intercultural mediators, 75 freelance mediators and 53 temporary staff members dedicated to Ukrainian children and families.

Additionally, each school will have the opportunity to appoint a designated staff member who will be given time off from their regular duties to serve as a contact person for incoming students.

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