How to receive refugees in the classrooms

31 basic activities for inclusion of refugees – in classrooms, schools, and communities. Read the new handbook, one of the outcomes of the Schools for All project!

Launching the handbook “31 Basic Activities”, a useful educational tool for the inclusion of students with refugee background in classrooms, schools, and communities.

What is it?

The handbook “31 Basic Activities” is a resource for all who work in the field of inclusion. It addresses the challenges of receiving students with refugee background in schools, and is developed for educators and professionals in the field.

The Handbook is intended as a practical tool for educational environments and schools across Europe in their process of creating an inclusive, welcoming learning environment for students with refugee background. The Handbook aims to equip school communities with the necessary tools to ensure a safe, democratic and uninterrupted quality education for all students.

“The organization of the content follows the possible needs of schools, depending on their relationship with students who have refugee experience at any given moment the educators start using the handbook. For example, if the school’s teachers decide that awareness raising, mapping of the existing situation, preparation or activities for the relationship between old and new students already attending the school are needed”, says Angelos Vallianatos, the Project’s lead expert and one of the Handbook’s authors. He adds:

“31 Basic Activities is not an implementation guide. It is a malleable tool, adaptable to the specificity and needs, to the idiosyncrasy of each school in Greece, but also to the educational system of each Council of Europe member state.”

Its story

The Handbook is one of the outcomes of the project Schools for All – Integration of Refugee Children in Greek Schools and from working with 64 secondary schools across Greece in the period 2019-22.

Schools for All is an educational intervention within school communities to promote inclusion and democracy, based on the training tools of the Council of Europe and The European Wergeland Center. The collaboration with the schools consists of workshops, mentoring, and the designing and implementation of a customized action plan in each school, to promote the creation of a democratic learning environment where all students are safe and welcome.

The Handbook is written by the team of experts, Angelos Vallianatos, Gelly Aroni, Marios Koukounaras-Liagkis, and Iro Potamousi, with significant contributions from the Project’s team of regional trainers who work directly with the schools.

The suggested activities have been applied and evaluated in practice, then fine-tuned and compiled in this comprehensive guide. The goal of this work is to cover the basic areas and needs of the ever-changing school environment that will or has welcomed students with refugee background. The Handbook is an open-access and free educational resource, and will be promoted to reach as many schools as possible.

The Greek version is approved by the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious affairs as scientifically valid and pedagogically appropriate in the field of inclusion.

The English version is adapted for an international audience.


This up-to-date handbook is designed as a set of cards to be used dynamically according to the specific needs of each school. The handbook is organized into categories according to the nature, objectives, and time of implementation of the activities.

The content follows the logic of time in relation to the arrival of students with refugee background: activities before the students arrive, activites during their first period of becoming members of the school community, and activities after the students’ initial period of integration.

Each activity refers to the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture and the model of the whole school approach, around its three pillars: School governance and culture, Teaching and Learning and Cooperation with the community.

The project “Schools For All” is being implemented under the “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” programme in Greece, by the European Wergeland Centre (EWC), under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and with the support of the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP). The “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” programme in Greece, financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, was awarded a total budget of 6,5 million euros as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aspires to contribute to enhancement of social cohesion and reduction of economic and social disparities. The Fund Operator for the “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” programme in Greece is SOL Consulting S.A in partnership with Human Rights 360. More information: