St Mary’s Catholic Primary Academy has become Wolverhampton's 13th School of Sanctuary – and the first Catholic school in the city to achieve the award.

It received the School of Sanctuary award from the City of Sanctuary UK movement after showing that it extends a warm welcome to everyone. The School of Sanctuary ethos of welcome, safety for all and celebrating their diverse community run through all aspects of the school. The children, staff and the wider school community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and welcome children and families from around the world.

Schools can apply to become a School of Sanctuary by demonstrating to City of Sanctuary UK that they have implemented three key principles – learning and helping people understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary, embedding the concepts of safety, welcome and inclusive culture for everyone and that they share their values and activities with their local communities.

Headteacher Vicky Minihane said: “We are very proud to have achieved our School of Sanctuary status and to be recognised for our efforts in creating a strong sense of welcome for all members of our school community. 

"We will continue to raise awareness of the experiences of people seeking safety within our city and beyond and continue to encourage our children to live out our Catholic Social Teaching principles – with kindness and compassion at the heart of our actions.”

The Schools of Sanctuary programme is part of the City of Sanctuary UK movement, committed to building a culture of safety and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. For more information, please visit Schools of Sanctuary.

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education Councillor Jacqui Coogan said: "We are really pleased that we now have 13 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 St Mary's 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, Merridale Primary and Colton Hills Community School.