Lochardil Primary School in Inverness has been awarded Scotland’s first School of Sanctuary, recognising its solidarity with and welcome for people seeking sanctuary.
Ukrainian families have recently arrived into the area, and the school is expecting Ukrainian children to soon join its classrooms. The school has been incredibly proactive in creating welcome documents, EAL provision, upskilling and developing the expertise of the school staff and making connections with local refugee support organisations.
Whilst the school has yet to have any students from a refugee background, they have done everything in their power to be ready for when they do.
Schools of Sanctuary is the fastest growing programme within the City of Sanctuary network. There are currently over 370 awarded schools, colleges and nurseries, all are committed to providing support to the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK and creating a culture of welcome and inclusion for all refugees and people seeking asylum.
Megan, the Schools of Sanctuary Coordinator says: “Lochardil Primary School first contacted me last year, saying how important they felt it was for their students to learn about why people seek sanctuary and build understanding and compassion, despite there being few refugees in their community at the time. Flash forward and Ukrainian families are arriving in their local area. By going through the Schools of Sanctuary process, Lochardil are now wholly prepared to make sure any children arriving in school are properly supported. Their forward-thinking perspective and acts of solidarity should be lauded and we are proud to recognise them as the first School of Sanctuary in Scotland.”
The school will be celebrating this achievement next term!