Education, migration and identities : relocated Montserratian secondary school students in London schools
This thesis explores the effects of forced migration on the educational aspirations of relocated Montserratian students in British schools. It first discusses the circumstances that influenced migration to the UK, particularly from the latter half of 1997, then compares and contrasts the educational experiences of relocated student to those of other African Caribbean and refugee migrant groups. As a British Dependent Territory Overseas (BDTO), the way of life in Montserrat has been guided and influenced by its status as a country under British jurisdiction. Yet, Montserratians have no formal citizenship rights and have therefore been positioned in a political limbo. Expectations from home and school create a constant struggle for relocated students as they juggle a range of conflicting identities. The thesis argues that a clash of ambiguous identities has forced relocated migrants to rethink and reconstruct a sense of place, as well as redirect thoughts on educational goals and aspirations. Fieldwork conducted with relocated students, their parents/guardians and teachers has revealed that the effects of forced migration have affected relocated students' educational aspirations. The high levels of achievement motivation that students had prior to relocation, have been greatly diminished due to several in-school and out-of-school factors. The thesis identifies the fragmentation of the Montserrat community as a major contributing factor. It also discusses the strategies that the UK-based Montserrat community groups and organisations have implemented in an effort to restore and sustain relocated students' premigration levels of achievement motivation, via a sense of an 'island' community. Finally, the thesis considers the main arguments against the backdrop of relocated migrants' perceptions of achievement, and their implications for future research, policy and practice.