The SCHOOLS of Sanctuary network is a group of more than 300 primary and secondary schools committed to supporting the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK.
St Cyres is the first school in the Vale to receive the recognition, which is gained by adhering to the Equalities Act 2010 and fulfilling a range of other criteria.
Cllr Burnett, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said: “
I’m proud that St Cyres has become the first Vale school to be awarded School of Sanctuary status.“That is testament to the warm environment of tolerance and acceptance which has always been a fundamental part of the school’s culture.
“These values are also central to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ethos and I hope more of our schools will follow their lead and join this network in the near future.”
This accolade is the latest example of efforts to support vulnerable groups that have taken place in the Vale.
Since 2016, the Council has been working with the UK Government to provide resettlement opportunities to 18 refugee families under the former Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and under the current UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS).
The Authority has worked with local and regional partners to provide a warm welcome and ensure they receive all the support they need to rebuild their lives in safety and become fully integrated into our communities.
\Our schools, like St Cyres, have been pivotal in this process, by providing a new start for children who’ve missed out on years of education and creating an environment for them to thrive despite their disadvantages.
They aim to create a culture of welcome and inclusion whilst raising awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers.
Wider society also plays an important part in this work and several local organisations have developed their own community-led resettlement pathways for vulnerable families.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council is very proud of its humanitarian work and has committed to providing sanctuary to recent refugees from the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, said:
“Our vision for Wales to become a Nation of Sanctuary does not solely belong to the Welsh Government. We all have a part to play in welcoming those who seek sanctuary here, St Cyres have demonstrated this by becoming the first school in the Vale of Glamorgan to achieve School of Sanctuary status.
Congratulations, to all pupils and school staff involved, your application was applauded by the City of Sanctuary movement for the naturally welcoming and warm approach which is genuinely inclusive in both spirit and heart, this embodies what we see as the Nation of Sanctuary approach in Wales. I encourage all schools to consider applying to be part of this movement.”
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