Press Release

German School Barometer Special: Every Second Teacher has Refugee Children from Ukraine in School

  • Robert Bosch Stiftung representative survey of teaching staff at German schools sheds light on the arrival of Ukrainian pupils.
  • Findings: Welcoming Ukrainian students has not proved a major challenge so far for the majority of teachers. Instead, they are still primarily focused on tackling COVID-19 measures.
  • Broadly speaking, Ukrainian pupils are studying in mainstream classes, with Ukrainian-speaking teachers or educational programs almost non-existent in schools.

Berlin, May 10, 2022: Every second teacher in Germany now has Ukrainian children and teenagers at their school. That said, the vast majority of teachers (92%) do not currently believe the arrival of refugee children poses a major challenge. Rather, after two years of pandemic, they see the COVID-19 measures in place as the greatest burden on their daily work (38%), followed by the shortage of teachers (26%), student behavior (21%), and digitalization (17%). All this was revealed by the German School Barometer Special, a representative survey from Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH conducted by forsa.

Three-quarters of the teachers surveyed (78%) reported integrating refugee children into regular classes, at least in part, and teaching them alongside students from Germany. At just 18 percent, classes intended solely for refugees with no links to joint lessons are somewhat rare. Ukrainian-language face-to-face or online lessons are available at just 1 percent of schools that have welcomed Ukrainian refugees. The use of Ukrainian-speaking staff as interpreters/translators (9%) or teachers (7%) has also been limited. 

49 percent of respondents stated that their school does not have suitable approaches for accommodating children with little or no knowledge of German. Among schools currently preparing to welcome more students from Ukraine (58%), the focus is primarily on providing space (43%) and finding teachers of German as a second language (40%). Only then do engagement with Ukrainian virtual learning tools (24%) and finding Ukrainian-speaking staff (around 16%) come in.

“Ukrainian-speaking teachers and translators can be a major help in supporting schools to welcome refugee students. With that in mind, we should facilitate the rapid and unbureaucratic employment of Ukrainian staff in German schools in cooperation with civil society and government agencies,” says Dr. Dirk Zorn, Senior Vice President Education at the Robert Bosch Stiftung. In a joint initiative with the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Robert Bosch Stiftung is supporting schools in hosting refugee children and teenagers from Ukraine. To access the support available, please see the German School Portal.

About the German School Barometer Special
Initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the German School Barometer Special involves a survey of teachers at both general educational and vocational schools in Germany. The representative sample included a total of 1,017 teachers and was carried out between April 6 and 18, 2022 as an online survey by forsa. You can find the full findings of the survey here (in German only).

Our expert:
Dr. Dirk Zorn, Senior Vice President Education at the Robert Bosch Stiftung
Tel. +49 30 220025-245
Cell +49 172 8524918

Your contact person

Claudia Hagen
Senior Manager
Phone+49 30 220025-261
e-mail to Claudia Hagen