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What is a School of Sanctuary?

It is a school that undertakes a programme of learning, action and sharing, where welcome and inclusion is placed at the heart of the school’s identity.

A core element of the Schools of Sanctuary focus is for students and staff to learn the many “whys and hows” of giving sanctuary, especially to refugees, migrants, marginalised ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups. 

A second core element is for schools to model and celebrate diversity and difference, striving to ensure that every child or young person respects the identities, cultures and values of others.

Schools are already equipping generations of school-goers with the knowledge, skills and empathy to give sanctuary where it is needed. The Schools of Sanctuary award journey builds on and enhances this ongoing work.

Schools pursue a commitment to become ever more inclusive places, taking an active stance against prejudice and racism and are proud to stand in solidarity with minority, marginalised and vulnerable students, their families and communities.

How do schools get involved?

Schools first become a Member School of Sanctuary and can then, typically after a minimum of one year, seek the award to become a Champion School of Sanctuary. (see “The Sanctuary Journey” below)

To prepare to become a Member school, we encourage schools to first think about their current EDI (Equality, Diversity, Inclusion), intercultural and multilingual practises- what is already happening, what new ideas can be introduced, how can students get directly involved, how can the whole school community be part of the journey. 

The SoSI team will support you to then plan your school’s sanctuary journey through the lens of the three Sanctuary Principles (see Learn, Action, Share below) and provide your teachers with the best resources we can to bring that journey into the classroom.