An "influx" of asylum seekers at primary schools in the Little Wymondley area has created an "unsustainable" situation, a concerned teacher has said, warning that teachers will be "leaving in their droves" due to the mental strain.

Needham House Hotel in Little Wymondley abruptly closed to the public in May, having accepted a contract with the Government to provide accommodation to asylum seekers.

There has since been concern, including from Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami, that the isolated location is not suitable, and puts a strain on local infrastructure.

Now, a concerned teacher has told the Comet how the "influx" of asylum seekers from Needham House at "many local primary schools" in the area has created an unsustainable situation.


"The organisation of transport, information given about languages, traumas, birth dates, SEN needs and much more have not be given, even when promised," she said.

"Neither the local authority or admissions have given any kind of support - the extra funding is a joke. It will not be enough to support the needs of these children and it will not be given to us in any kind of urgency."

This teacher says more than 75 per cent of pupils from Needham House cannot read or write in their first language - even at the age of 10 - let alone try to communicate in English.

"These children need specialist teachers on the site they are living, with specific emphasis on learning to read and write in English," she said.

"If we are spending a huge chunk of our time integrating these unfortunate students, teaching them English with no training or equipment, we cannot do what we should be doing for the other pupils. This cannot go on.


"This whole system does not benefit anyone - the asylum children, our children or the educational practitioners.

"Our schools are already on their knees with other pressures and this is completely unsustainable.

"I can foresee teachers and learning support assistants leaving in their droves because of the mental strain. I am thinking of leaving a profession I have loved."

Hertfordshire County Council has emphasised that asylum provision and placement is a Home Office responsibility.


"We have a legal responsibility to provide education to children living in the county, including those the Home Office have placed in the area," a spokesperson for the local authority said.

"We are working closely with the schools affected to support them and the children placed there, including tailored scheduled training programmes for school support staff and teachers. 

“We have raised with government on a number of occasions the need for specific additional funding for schools to support the placement of asylum-seeking families in the area, as they have done with other migrant schemes such as Ukraine and Afghanistan.”