RGS awarded School of Sanctuary status

RIPON Grammar School students and staff are celebrating being one of the first secondary schools in the area to be presented with an award for its work in supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

The School of Sanctuary award recognises the culture of welcome, safety, awareness and inclusion embedded throughout all areas of school life.

RGS now joins a national network of more than 420 primary and secondary schools, nurseries and sixth forms all committed to this ethos, with a further 400 schools working towards it.

City of Sanctuary UK director of operations Sara Trewhitt praised RGS pupils and staff: “Our assessment team were impressed by the range of steps the whole school has taken to demonstrate its commitment to being a place of sanctuary for all.

“From charitable fundraising to an expanded curriculum to sensitive pastoral provision, the school has implemented a range of activities to truly embrace the ethos of kindness behind the School of Sanctuary award.

“In particular, students spoke eloquently about the need to support inclusion at RGS. At City of Sanctuary UK, we look forward to seeing how RGS continues to grow its sanctuary initiatives beyond the school’s gates in the years to come. "

Throughout the year, the school has been working to develop its understanding of the plight of refugees and asylum seekers to provide a welcoming place of safety.

The project, led by head of personal, social, health and economic education at RGS, Helen Mars, has been a rewarding one, she said: “We are delighted to be recognised as a safe place of sanctuary. RGS is committed to providing a rich and vibrant curriculum and this has enriched our school in so many areas.

“We are committed to continuing on our School of Sanctuary journey and would encourage other schools to consider working towards this accreditation.”

Headmaster Jonathan Webb added: “Inclusion and welcome are at the core of our school values, and we are very proud of the empathy, kindness and compassion shown by all our school community."