A British Online School and Member of the Council of International Schools, is offering free, full time education to Ukrainian children from age 4 to 14 displaced by the recent Russian invasion and war in the Ukraine.

Attacks on schools in Ukraine are endangering the futures of the country’s 7.5 million children. Damages due to bombing forced the closure of more than 750 schools, disrupting access to education for children, with many too scared to attend school. With every school that is damaged or destroyed, and every lesson missed, children’s prospects of experiencing and building a better future diminishes.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, as Sophia High School is leading the way in being the first British Online School provider to welcome Ukrainian children into its global learning community at no cost to Ukrainian families and is already influencing wider online education providers and physical independent schools in the UK to do the same.

‘Schools must not become the battlefields where wars are waged and students are the casualties. We have the amazing ability through online education to keep the children of Ukraine learning.’ said Melissa McBride, Founder and Chief Education Officer at Sophia High School. ‘At the heart of our philosophy is the importance we place on global citizenship. There has never been a time in my lifetime, where it is more important to come together as humanity and do whatever we can to support those in need.’

Sophia High School recognised their potential and power as an online education provider to make a difference to the lives of Ukrainian children, regardless of their current location, by committing to fill all of their remaining places available for the current academic year to children who are already receiving full time teaching in the UK National Curriculum, as well as one to one mentoring, wellbeing, mindfulness and mental health support. In addition, these children have also been given the opportunity to develop their passions and interests through the School’s online holiday course program at SophiaX.

Sophia High School saw the need to be proactive in doing whatever they could to support the children who had been forced from their homes and schools and have already welcomed 7 Ukrainian children to their online school. They believe that through wider support from the Government and Corporate Organisations, online schools have the potential to offer help to so many more children.

“While we are just one small player in the Education sector and have the current capacity to offer 20 further places to children across the primary and secondary phases of our online school; the establishment of an Educate Ukraine fund in partnership with Governments, Institutes and Online Education providers would not only ensure that these children are able to continue with their education, but in a way that is more efficient, cost effective and puts less pressure on local state schools whose teachers and resources are already stretched.”

The flexibility of students learning from wherever they are is a powerful benefit to online education, which has seen huge leaps in recent years. Sophia High School is hoping to be a catalyst for encouraging more education providers to open their doors to Ukrainian children in need in the coming days and weeks and believe that support is vital to ensure these children are not left behind.