Here at Norham High School, we strive for inclusion, celebrate diversity and we aim to ensure our students leave our school with a greater understanding of the world around them.
As part of this commitment, Norham High School is delighted to have been awarded ‘School of Sanctuary’ status.
What is a School of Sanctuary?
A school that fosters a culture of welcome and safety for people seeking sanctuary, including asylum seeking and refugee families.
Educates the whole school community about the human right to sanctuary and identifies practical means for schools to demonstrate that commitment.
Builds empathy and 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.
Why become a School of Sanctuary?
Schools play a crucial role in helping young people to make sense of the world, to become responsible citizens and to create positive change in their communities. As of June 2020, there were 26 million refugees in the world (according the UNHCR) approximately half of whom were children, with climate change increasingly driving the forced displacement of people.
The UK offered protection to 19,480 people in the year ending September 2019 and schools are often at the forefront of receiving and supporting those forcibly displaced. Nearly a quarter of asylum seekers in the year ending September 2019 were under 18.
Young people in the UK need not only to learn about these issues but where possible meet people face-to-face who have lived experience of displacement in order to understand both their local communities and the wider world better.
Earlier this year, Norham High signed the following pledge to show our commitment to achieving School of Sanctuary Status:
“We support the ‘City of Sanctuary’ vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all and proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.
We endorse the City of Sanctuary Charter, and agree to act in accordance with City of Sanctuary values and apply the network principles within our work (as far as our specific context enables us to).
We recognise the contribution of people seeking sanctuary. Sanctuary seekers are welcomed, included and supported within our context. We expect our branches or local groups (if any) to support their local City of Sanctuary group if one exists, and will facilitate contact between them and their local City of Sanctuary group.