Celebrations at latest Cardiff school to become a School of Sanctuary

Allensbank Primary School in Gabalfa has become the first primary school in Cardiff to achieve Schools of Sanctuary status. 

In order to be become a School of Sanctuary, Allensbank primary had to demonstrate an understanding of what it means for someone to be seeking sanctuary, and a commitment to creating a welcoming and caring environment for those people in need of help. 

The council is encouraging all of its schools to become Schools of Sanctuary. This is part of Cardiff's pledge to be a City of Sanctuary, making it a welcoming place of safety for all and offering sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution. 

The Schools of Sanctuary initiative also supports the work which is underway for Cardiff to become a Unicef Child Friendly City, following the recent launch of Cardiff's Child Friendly Strategy. 

Allensbank Primary School worked on a range of projects in order to secure Schools of Sanctuary status, including winning the council's Refugee Week jingle competition.  The school worked collaboratively with their Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service's (EMTAS) Closing the Gap Officer from Cardiff Council. They arranged training for all staff, focusing on promoting community cohesion, the use of first language and becoming a School of Sanctuary. 

Headteacher, Miss Jenny Drogan, said: "We are delighted to be the first Primary School in Cardiff to be awarded the School of Sanctuary Award. A School of Sanctuary is one that helps its pupils, staff and wider community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and also extends a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community. This award is therefore a result of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that Allensbank Primary School is a welcoming place for all." 

So far two schools in Cardiff have achieved School of Sanctuary status. These are: Llanishen High School and Allensbank Primary School. 

Another six are currently working towards becoming a School of Sanctuary. 

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "Congratulations to Miss Drogan, all the staff, the children and everyone in the wider school community that worked so hard to achieve the Schools of Sanctuary award for Allensbank Primary School. 

"Cardiff has a proud tradition as being a city which welcomes people from around the globe, and the work being done as part of Schools of Sanctuary, as well as our City of Sanctuary pledge and our Child Friendly City Strategy, will ensure that this traditional continues. 

"It is great to see two of our schools already achieving School of Sanctuary status, and with all the hard work that is being done by schools across Cardiff, there are more to come in the future."