• Amanda Gamble and Phil Johnson, chaplain at ASFA

Liverpool academy retains School of Sanctuary status

A school in Kensington, Liverpool has recently retained its School of Sanctuary status. 

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) originally gained the status in July 2016, and was the first school in Liverpool to achieve this. 

School of Sanctuary is a network of over 300 primary and secondary schools across the UK that commit to inclusivity and providing a safe space for those seeking sanctuary.  

Students at these schools are educated on the experiences of asylum seekers and are encouraged to build their intercultural awareness. 

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, which is part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, upholds the School of Sanctuary principles in many ways.  

Community events and assemblies are often held in support of amplifying the voices of refugees and asylum seekers. 

Recently, in the academy’s art class, pupils created art inspired by themes such as the struggles faced by refugees and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Languages such as Arabic and Polish are also available to learn up to GCSE level.   

Amanda Gamble, language acquisition coordinator at ASFA, said: “Going through the process of reaccreditation was a massive affirmation of the work we do every day as a staff body to support our students.” 

The school also has ‘Language Ambassadors’ – students who assist younger pupils whose first language is not English by helping with translations and engaging in activities together including a regular reading club. 

These are just some of the many ways the school incorporates diversity into its curriculum. 

Gill Rowlands, EMTAS manager at School Improvement Liverpool, commented: “We are delighted that The Academy of St Francis of Assisi has once again received School of Sanctuary accreditation.  

“A school of sanctuary is a school that actively works towards creating a safe and warm welcome to all pupils, staff and the wider community.  

“It is wonderful that the school is committed to providing an inclusive environment which actively celebrates the uniqueness of each school member!” 

Head of school, Colette Singleton, said: “I am delighted the academy has retained its School of Sanctuary status.  

“The work we do is part of daily school life and I’m proud that we continue to be a safe space for children.” 

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