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School of Sanctuary

At Portfields Primary School, we are committed to ensuring that our children and their families, staff and the community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and the struggles asylum seekers and refugees face. We extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community. We aim to extend a hand of friendship to those who need it; making everyone feel equal and valued as part of our ‘Portfields family’.

All of our pupils are valued as individuals and are equal to one another. We regularly provide our children with a wealth of experiences which help them to understand and appreciate the cultures of other countries and indeed of our pupils.

As an aspiring school of sanctuary, we are committed to:

  • fostering a culture of welcome and safety for people seeking sanctuary, including asylum seeking and refugee families.
  • educating the whole school community about the human right to sanctuary and identifying practical means for schools to demonstrate that commitment.
  • building empathy and intercultural awareness through promoting the voices and contributions of people seeking sanctuary, encouraging an understanding of the experiences of displaced people and helping to combat stereotypes.

What is a School of Sanctuary?

School of Sanctuary is a growing network with more than 380 primary and secondary schools all committed to supporting the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK, creating a culture of welcome, and raising awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers.

Driven by teachers, school staff, parents, governors and community groups, the School of Sanctuary network supports the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK, raising awareness of the issues facing people in the asylum system, challenging misconceptions and building social cohesion. 

This growing network is supported by the umbrella organisation City of Sanctuary UK (CoS UK).

The City of Sanctuary UK

The City of Sanctuary UK organisation and its networks are guided and informed by a commitment to the following values:

  • Inclusiveness: We welcome and respect people from all backgrounds and place the highest value on diversity and are committed to equality.
  • Openness: We are committed to a culture of working collaboratively within the network and in partnership with others.
  • Participation: Those who support our vision, work together with people seeking sanctuary. We value and recognise the contribution of all involved. We aspire to ensure people seeking sanctuary are fully involved in decision-making processes and supported to become leaders within the City of Sanctuary organisation and network as well as the wider movement.
  • Inspiration: We work with enthusiasm and positivity and are determined to surpass what has already been achieved to welcome refugees and people seeking sanctuary. We act as a catalyst for change by being open to new and innovative ideas and through sharing knowledge gained with others and working in partnership.
  • Integrity: We aspire to high standards of honesty and behaviour, and always act in the interests of people seeking sanctuary.

Useful Links

City of Sanctuary UK

The Refugee Council

Refugee Week 2024 

The Bell Foundation