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Become an FE College of Sanctuary

STEP ONE – Sign the organisational pledge, committing the college to acknowledge and support the CoS charter & organisational values and upholding our vision of welcome and belonging in the UK. This takes less than two minutes and is one of the minimum criteria.

Share your pledge and announce your intention to your wider college community.

STEP TWO – Connect with your Sanctuary Lead Contact. Once you sign the pledge, you will be contacted by the FE College of Sanctuary Team who will share details of upcoming events and also let you know if you have a Local Lead who will oversee your appraisal process.

If not, your application will be overseen by City of Sanctuary UK and we will let you know about the support we can offer and application deadlines (*please see below for detail).

STEP THREE – Read and review the College of Sanctuary resource pack, noting the the minimum criteria and the Colleges of Sanctuary website for ideas and inspiration. Undertake an audit of what the college has done to date to meet the award minimum criteria.

Consider who in your college may be seeking sanctuary, what support they may need and how to include them in the process, as well as reflecting on how your curriculum planning & college-wide events could be adapted to include learning about sanctuary. Create a plan to fulfil outstanding criteria and consider linking this to the college development plan.

STEP FOUR – Complete an application form that clearly states how you have fulfilled the the award minimum criteria. Typically this should be accompanied with an evidence portfolio/ folder  supporting your application and might include photos, newsletters, students’ work, emails, policies and more.

Discuss with your Lead/ main point of contact about a realistic and convenient application submission deadline plenty of time in advance. When ready, submit your application to your Lead/contact who will arrange for a panel to review your application and share some feedback. This will be followed by an appraisal meeting. Please note that the appraisal team typically includes people from local refugee organisations, people with lived experience and/or others working within this space and is intended to understand local perspectives of your colleges support to people seeking safety.

Make sure City of Sanctuary UK is set up as a supplier to enable the transfer of the accreditation fee upon being informed about a successful award. Contact the Colleges Lead for details on how to transfer this fee (you can read more about the reasons we have an accreditation fee here.

STEP FIVE – Once awarded, transfer the award fee and plan a celebration in collaboration with your local group and/or Lead. Make sure to share your achievements on social media and on the college website and reach out to local press. Continue to implement your sanctuary efforts and develop a plan for re-appraisal in three years.

Application Deadlines

*In the 2023/24 academic year, you should note that City of Sanctuary UK team has established an application submission schedule to better manage time, given our limited capacity.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 1st December 2023 – Confirm intention to move forward with application.
  • 19th January 2024 – Submit a draft application and evidence portfolio. If strong, you will be invited to submit a final application.
  • 1st March 2024 – Submit final application and evidence portfolio and ensure City of Sanctuary UK is set up as a supplier.
  • 15th-26th April 2024 – Arrange an appraisal meeting/visit. Following this visit, the appraisal team will confirm their decision on your application and, if successful, you must transfer the award fee before announcing your successful award.