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Number of Ukrainians in Ireland passes 54,000 with almost 12,000 enrolled in school


Ukrainian refugees wait for transport at the central train station in Warsaw, Poland earlier this year.

Ukrainian refugees wait for transport at the central train station in Warsaw, Poland earlier this year.

Ukrainian refugees wait for transport at the central train station in Warsaw, Poland earlier this year.

More than 54,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland since the invasion of their country by Russia in February.

The latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that as of the week ending September 25, 54,771 Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSNs) have been issued to individuals from Ukraine under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Women aged 20 and over account for 46pc of arrivals to date, while those aged under 19 years old, both male and female, make up for 35pc of arrivals.

The highest percentage of those arriving were categorised as 'one parent with children' at 35pc or 19,121 individuals.

According to the CSO, just over 1,000 refugees arrived in Ireland in the week prior to figures being collated.

At present, Dublin's north inner city and Killarney, Co Kerry, are accommodating the highest number of refugees from Ukraine, with 1,558 arrivals in both areas.

The Local Electoral Area (LEA) with the highest rate of arrivals is Ennistymon, in Co Clare.

The findings also show that 5,959 arrivals from Ukraine are living in private accommodations, where 2,770 hosts are in receipt of Accommodation Recognition Payment for accommodating people from the war-torn country.

The CSO also noted that 67pc of the arrivals had attended employment support events arranged by Intreo Public Employment Services.

It noted that English language proficiency acts a major challenge in securing employment for those arriving from Ukraine.

Of the 19,589 arrivals who attended an Intreo event, 14,209 had recorded previous occupations.

Of the 13,878 persons where the highest level of education was recorded, 67pc had achieved an NFQ level equivalent to 7 or higher.

Meanwhile latest figures from the Department of Education show  the number of Ukrainian children in Irish schools has jumped to almost 12,000.

The latest figure of 11,809 is a 62pc rise from 7,285 at the end of the last school year in June.

The pattern remains the same as last year, with almost two-thirds of the children - 7,420 - in primary schools and little over one-third - 4,389 –  in the post-primary sector.

The statistics are based on school returns at the end of September, and similar data will be published every month.

With the war in Ukraine continuing, the numbers are likely to rise further over the late autumn and winter period.

At primary level, where there were 554,788 pupils enrolled last year, the newly-arrived Ukrainians now make up at least 1.3pc of the population in schools.

Prior to the arrival of the Ukrainian refugees. many primary schools were experiencing a general decline in enrolments due to population trends. It meant that schools, particularly along the west coast, had spare capacity to accommodate newcomers and, where possible, Ukrainian families, are being moved to those areas. Overall, there was an estimated 25,000 spare places in primary schools.

The post-primary sector generally has less spare capacity, an estimated 15,000-18,000 places, and many schools have none because of the growth in teenager numbers. Ukrainian pupils now make up about 1pc of their enrolments

While the biggest single cohort of Ukrainian pupils are in schools in Dublin (1,873), other counties are accommodating large numbers relative to their population. In Kerry there are 1,158 Ukrainian pupils and in Clare there are 822.

Special multi-agency regional teams, known as REALT, have been set up under the umbrella of education and training boards around the country, to assist with the transition of Ukrainian refugees and their families into schools. As well as helping with placements, they also ensure that schools have the necessary resources to cater for the additional numbers.

Information for parents in Ukrainian and Russian on accessing school places is available on gov.ie/Ukraine.

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