Oasis Academy MediaCityUK has become Salford's first ‘School of Sanctuary’ following accreditation by the nationwide City of Sanctuary movement.
A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space of safety.
Oasis Academy MediaCityUK on King William Street in Salford, has received the special School of Sanctuary accolade. The award recognises the work the school does in supporting its pupils, staff and the wider community to understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and to extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community.
The Academy is known for its students’ consideration of the needs of their wider local community. School inspectors noted last year that ‘The wider development of pupils, including of their spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness is a strength of the school,’ and that ‘Leaders have created a highly supportive, harmonious community where tolerance and understanding of other people are the norm.’
Commenting on the award, David Few, Co-Chair Manchester City of Sanctuary, says
“The work the Academy is doing is inspiring, and you clearly have the values of welcome embedded in your school. Moreover, you evidently work hard to make students educated on issues around Sanctuary Seekers, and help them feel valued and accepted in your community.”
“City of Sanctuary aims to cultivate a real and pervasive sense of welcome in the UK and a really key part to that work is in schools, so I really cannot emphasise enough how much we at City of Sanctuary appreciate your efforts. You are building a more open, welcoming and kind future.”
Fiona O’Sullivan, Principal of Oasis Academy MediaCityUK says, ‘At the Academy we are committed to providing our young people with an exceptional education. To us that means both swift academic progress and the opportunities to broaden their experience and awareness of their local community and the challenges that people face. When our students leave us, we want them to be confident and caring members of society.’
‘To become a School of Sanctuary is both an honour and a responsibility which take extremely seriously. Our young people have maturely, and readily, embraced what it means to be truly welcoming and accepting of others, regardless of background or circumstance. We are very proud of them.”
Councillor Lisa Stone, lead member for children’s and young people’s services, said: “No-one can achieve their full potential if they don’t feel safe, secure and in a welcoming environment. Oasis Academy is working hard, not just to create a welcoming, tolerant and understanding atmosphere in school but to make sure pupils carry that with them when they go out into the world. They richly deserve this award.”
Rachel Jones, Oasis’s Regional Director for the North says ‘Oasis Community Learning is passionate about the development of community and the importance of inclusion.’
‘Fiona and her team have created a caring and supportive learning environment at the Academy, where everyone is welcomed and included and given the opportunities they need to flourish. I cannot think of a more deserving school to be given the accolade, School of Sanctuary.’