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Education Politics Swansea West Wales

Two Swansea schools awarded ‘Schools of Sanctuary’ status

Schools recognised for inclusive and welcoming culture (pic: Swansea Council)

PUPILS and staff representing schools in Swansea have attended a ceremony recognising the work they do in creating a safe, inclusive and welcoming culture for all including asylum seekers and refugees.

St Helen’s Primary, Christchurch Primary and Bishop Vaughan Comprehensive School have all been awarded Schools of Sanctuary status and were invited to the event at Swansea Arena on Friday to celebrate their achievements.

St Joseph’s Cathedral School has also obtained reaccreditation and took part as well.

The four schools join Hafod, Brynmill, Waun Wen, Terrace Rd who achieved the status last year and Pentrehafod who were reaccredited as a School of Sanctuary having been the first school in Wales to attain the award more than ten years ago.

Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Learning, Robert Smith, said: “I’d like to congratulate the three new schools who have achieved Schools of Sanctuary status and also to commend those that continue to hold the title.

“This week is Refugee Week – an international celebration of the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary – and Friday’s event at the Swansea Arena was a very fitting precursor.

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“To obtain Schools of Sanctuary Status then each school must be able to demonstrate that they are committed to creating a safe and inclusive culture of welcome that benefits everybody, including anyone in their community seeking sanctuary and to share their values and activities with their local communities.

“They also need to show that they help their students, staff and wider community learn about what it means to be seeking sanctuary and the issues surrounding forced migration.

“I’m very proud that in Swansea – Wales’ first City of Sanctuary and the first Human Rights City -we have a growing list of schools achieving this accreditation.”

The awards were presented on Friday by the Swansea City of Sanctuary group with each of the four schools sharing information on how they worked to achieve or retain the status.