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Engaging local schools with refugee issues

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City of Sanctuary runs a national programme called the Schools of Sanctuary stream, and we’re delighted to be participating. It’s not just that several local schools have admitted resettled Syrian children: we also work with schools in the hope than a generation of children and young people across the area will learn about asylum issues.

The award is not trivial: schools spend about a year working asylum-related issues into their curriculum and then evidencing that they’ve done so. We help by offering ideas, introducing guest speakers (for example, refugees or the British Red Cross), and delivering assemblies and workshops.

There are 3 simple principles to becoming a school of sanctuary:

  • Learning about what it means to be seeking sanctuary
  • Taking positive action to embed concepts of welcome, protection and inclusion within the school and wider local community
  • Sharing that vision and the school’s achievements.

Ripon schools 

Outwood Primary Academy Greystone became our first school of sanctuary in March 2018, and by the end of 2020 a further 4 other schools continued to work towards the award, despite the pandemic. If you work at a school in the area and would like to know more, please get in touch!