A Wolverhampton school has been named Boarding School of the Year for its work with vulnerable children.

The Royal School received the accolade at the Boarding Schools Association’s annual awards recently.

The prestigious award recognises the excellent work of the school in protecting and working with vulnerable pupils including children in care and unaccompanied asylum seeker children who board at the Penn Road school, with judges saying staff had made a significant and extended contribution to their welfare and support.

The City of Wolverhampton Council has worked closely with The Royal School and the Refugee and Migrant Centre to support asylum-seeking children, some of whom board or attend the school, helping to improve their attendance and attainment in mainstream education.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The Royal School should be extremely proud to be recognised in this way. Its staff work tirelessly to provide a stable and caring environment for all its students, where they feel safe and welcomed.

“Some of our children in care and unaccompanied asylum seeking children attend The Royal School and we work closely with the school and other partners to provide holistic support to them to improve their life chances as they learn new skills, build their confidence and adjust to life in the UK.”

The Royal School Principal Mark Heywood said: “This is wonderful recognition of the continued work of our boarding, teaching, domestic, catering and estates staff who support all our boarders and in particular those vulnerable youngsters who are children in care in all their guises over an extended period.  

“Thanks to all the hard work of our dedicated boarding staff who work around the clock, weekends and half term holidays to present a stable home environment and life changing experiences that enable our young people go on to an impressive range of destinations. 

“This is a collaborative multi agency approach involving the council, with whom we work closely, the parents, and the young people themselves who stand shoulder to shoulder with students from all over the world and grow and blossom by being immersed in an aspirational and positive environment.

“John Lees founded The Royal School as an orphanage in 1850 and it is remarkable that 170 years later our work with children from all backgrounds continues and is being recognised as nationally exceptional as a co-educational day and state boarding school.”