CORK has welcomed 1,187 Ukrainians refugee students into schools across the county at both primary and secondary level since the Russian invasion on February 24.
The Department of Education has confirmed that as September 30, 11,809 Ukrainian pupils have been enrolled across Ireland.
In Cork, 755 Ukrainian students now enrolled at primary level, with 432 Ukrainian students at post primary level.
Greenmount National School principal, Finbarr Hurley said they have a small cohort of Ukrainian children who have been made feel very welcome, but there are difficulties due to the language barrier.
“Some of them were with us but have moved on because the accommodation they were in wasn’t where they ended up,” said Mr Hurley.
“That’s a difficulty in that children would have settled in and become happy but then unfortunately have to move. Children need stability.
“Our experience is that they are fabulous people, but it is very difficult without the English language to come to a school and a country and navigate a system.”
Mr Hurley said many families are hoping to go home, and this puts an “unknown” over their plans. Ukrainians parents also need help. “They need emotional and psychological support,” he added.
To assist with the transition of Ukrainian refugees and their families into Irish schools Regional Education and Language Teams (REALT) continue to operate, hosted by the 16 regional education and training boards around Ireland.
Information for parents in Ukrainian and Russian on accessing school places is available on gov.ie/Ukraine