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 Lisa Thompson said: "We are really humbled to have been recognised as a School of Sanctuary.
“We work really hard at St. Andrew’s to provide the best possible life chances for all of our pupils and a huge part of this is supporting families.
“Working towards the award has enabled us to develop our understanding of what it means to be a family needing sanctuary. We aim to offer a warm welcome to all our families and to listen to them to ensure their individual needs are met.
“When children join St. Andrew’s, they become part of the St. Andrew’s family. We welcome the award as recognition of the hard work by all staff and governors in ensuring that St. Andrew’s CE Primary provides a safe haven for everyone.”
Chair of Governors Deborah Castle added: “I am delighted that the work of all those in school has been recognised with this award which echoes comments made in our recent Ofsted report that parents commented on the care and support their children receive, saying, ‘The school values families, not just the pupils’, with one pupil saying, ‘this is a school for everyone’.“
The award was presented to the school before a special music and dance concert showcasing the pupil’s talents.
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We now have a total of seven Schools of Sanctuary in Wolverhampton, which are all demonstrating that 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 St. Andrew’s on their achievements.”
Other Schools of Sanctuary in Wolverhampton include West Park, Dunstall Hill, Bantock and St Luke’s primary schools, Colton Hills School and Windsor Nursery School.
The Schools of Sanctuary programme is part of the City of Sanctuary Network, a movement spread throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. For more information, please visit City of Sanctuary.
Schools which would like more information about becoming a School of Sanctuary should please email email@example.com.