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What is a College of Sanctuary?

Colleges are often central institutions in a community and therefore are well placed to make a difference locally. As centres of learning they can lead by example, offer support and education to people seeking sanctuary, and contribute to a culture of welcome in their town or city. 

A College of Sanctuary is a college that has been nationally recognised for their work with refugees and asylum seekers. It is a place that fosters a culture of welcome and safety for people seeking sanctuary, including asylum seeking and refugee families and unaccompanied minors.

Every college is different and so the way that a culture of welcome manifests itself varies greatly. The award could reflect their efforts to improve the awareness of their student and staff body about the challenges facing people seeking sanctuary. It might also include colleges which go the extra mile to support students from sanctuary seeking backgrounds to achieve their potential, maybe through pastoral care, exceptional ESOL provision or careers guidance and supportive links to Higher Education. It can also be about very practical things such as allowing their sports facilities to be used by local people who are seeking sanctuary outside of term time or fundraising for their local refugee support organisation. 

Please note: for our purposes, we are referring to Further Education (FE) Colleges in this stream, sixth form colleges we would consider Schools of Sanctuary. Please see the Schools of Sanctuary Resource pack instead.