ASFA named School of Sanctuary

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) has become the first secondary school in the city to be named a school of sanctuary.

This mark celebrates the Academy’s diligent efforts to offer a safe haven for all of its pupils, including refugees and asylum seekers.

A school of sanctuary is a school that is committed to providing a safe space for those seeking sanctuary. This can be those whose lives were in danger in their own country, students with troubles at home or anyone just looking for a space to feel safe.

Dedicated to creating awareness among both staff and pupils about the refugee crisis, the school also helps them to understand why people become refugees and asylum seekers and why they need protection.

The Academy is not just a sanctuary to refugees, but to any pupils who have troubles at home or are just looking for a place to feel safe.

New pupils seeking sanctuary are welcomed to the school through a tailored induction process where they are provided with PE kits and uniforms and assigned to a common language buddy.

Staff and students are provided with language acquisition support in order to help with the transition.

The school has strengthened its community links and works closely with Alder Hey, Asylum Link and the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS).

This term, Arabic and Polish classes were added to the school’s enrichment programme and these languages are also available to be taken as GCSE subjects.

Serena Cubbins, Deputy Headteacher, says: “At ASFA we are dedicated to providing high quality education to all of our students and this begins with creating a safe space for all.

“To be recognised as a School of Sanctuary is testament to the academy’s inclusive environment where all students are made to feel welcome regardless of their background.”

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