Cathays High has been accredited as a ‘Refugee welcome school’ in recognition of their efforts to support refugee students.
A high school in Cardiff was officially recognised last month following their dedicated support of refugee children from around the world.
Cathays High school received the accreditation from Citizens UK, a community organising group, and NASWUT, a teachers union. The award acknowledges their commitment to supporting vulnerable children and their families.
Amanda Portlock-White, a senior member of staff, says, “The award is recognition for the excellent work that goes on at this school with some very vulnerable young people.There are…young people who have been granted the right to remain in the UK because of the intervention of the school. A significant number of children are able to go on to university and study courses ranging from Engineering to Accounting to Biomedical Science after their time with us.”
The school, which aims to become a ‘school of sanctuary’, has a number of staff responsible for ensuring the well-being of refugee students and offers several areas of support through their refugee welcome plan. New and current students are partnered to help them settle in and a school counsellor is available for those who need it.
Amanda says, “All parents of children from a refugee background have the opportunity to attend a parent education programme at the school. Parents are able to attend adult ESOL lessons…leading to qualifications for them. This is all paid for by the school.”
Well done to Cathays High on gaining official accreditation for being a ‘Refugee Welcome’ school. The award itself is testimony to the hard work of staff and pupils in supporting vulnerable individuals and in raising awareness of the challenges they face. @NASUWT @citizenswales pic.twitter.com/gYDQuj0Ozf
— Cathays High School (@CathaysHigh) November 22, 2017
The school has several ideas to build upon their already successful plan. As well as hopes to provide a ‘welcome pack’ containing essentials such as a local bus time-table, toiletries and a teddy-bear, they also want to raise awareness of the problems refugees face in Cathays. “We are looking to extend our work into the community with some lobbying on behalf of people from a refugee background,” says Amanda.
Amanda says, “It is a privilege to teach young people from such backgrounds. They have a thirst for knowledge and value the importance of education after what so many of them have been through. Their resilience and positivity is very humbling.”