Merridale Primary School has become Wolverhampton's 12th School of Sanctuary – by demonstrating that it is a safe and welcoming place for all.

The school received the award from the National City of Sanctuary movement after showing that it extends a warm welcome to everyone, and that children, staff and the wider school community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary.

A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space of warmth and safety. 

It is also a school which extends a warm welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community with an emphasis on supporting every child and family’s dignity. 

Headteacher Laura Towle said: “Merridale has always been proud to be a welcoming and safe space for all. Our values of kindness and respect really do permeate all areas of school life and our children embody these values and demonstrate them every day in helping to create a place of belonging for all.

"We value every single member of our school community, whether they are new to our school, the city or the country – everyone truly is 'welcome here'.

"To receive this recognition as a School of Sanctuary is a proud moment for our school as it really does reflect our dedication to promoting empathy and unity within our school and across Wolverhampton.” 

The award was presented to the school at a special assembly attended by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Chris Burden, yesterday (Wednesday 13 March, 2024).

He said: "We are really pleased that we now have a total of 12 Schools of Sanctuary in Wolverhampton, which are all demonstrating the lengths they go to ensure they provide a safe and welcoming place for their children and families. I would like to congratulate the staff and pupils at Merridale on their achievements.”

Other Schools of Sanctuary in Wolverhampton include Bantock Primary, Dunstall Hill Primary, Goldthorn Park Primary, Rakegate Primary, St Andrews CofE Primary, St Lukes CofE Primary, St Regis CofE Academy, Stowlawn Primary, Villiers Primary, West Park Primary and Colton Hills Community School.

Schools which would like more information about becoming a School of Sanctuary should please email for further details.