access to education for “undocumented” young

In R (Tigere) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2015] UKSC 57, [2016] 1 All ER 191, [2015] ELR 455 the Supreme Court ruled that the unavailability of student funding to the claimant, who had discretionary leave to remain in the UK, breached Art 14 ECHR and A1P1, though it upheld a requirement for three years’ lawful residence. The Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 were amended to remove the requirement for ordinary residence “without being subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which he may remain”. This met the case of the Tigere claimant but the BBC reported on 23 June 2020 that many children of immigrant families remain ineligible to receive student funding (“Raised in the UK – barred from university”).
The BBC discussed the cases of “Hanna” and “Michael”, both raised in London having moved to the UK from Nigeria, with their parents aged 13 and 12 respectively. Neither had acquired citizenship. This being the case, and neither being refugees or having leave to remain (ILR), both realised when making UCAS applications that they were not entitled to access student funding. They would have to acquire leave to remain and maintain this for three years before being eligible for student funding. Michael, having been in the UK since 12, would be eligible for such leave because he would have lived half his life in the UK by the time he reached 25, though he would have to have such status for three years before he could acquire funding. Hanna would not. Michael will have to renew his limited leave status every 30 months for 20 years (at a cost of £2000 each time) before being eligible for indefinite leave to remain. Any failure to renew his status in time means that the process has to start again. Hanna will not be eligible for ILR until she has lived in the UK for 20 years and meanwhile remains ineligible to work or to access health care apart from GP services despite having been brought up in the UK by resident parents.
The BBC linked a report from the University of Wolverhampton (London’s children and young people who are not British citizens: A profile” ) which estimates that 130 000 of approximately 332 000 undocumented children in the UK live in London, unable to access public funds and subject to the threat of deportation once they reach 18. This could fairly be described, as London Mayor Sadiq Khan put it on Windrush Day, as “a national disgrace”.