School of Sanctuary

We are proud that St. Mary’s is School of Sanctuary. There are over 370 Schools of Sanctuary in the UK at present – from nurseries, to primary schools; secondary schools to sixth form colleges. Schools within this growing network, aim to raise awareness about forced displacement and migration and to support newly arrived children and all people seeking sanctuary. Schools of Sanctuary are enormously important as they ensure that provision effectively supports and meets the needs of children who have often experienced great challenges.

Why are is St. Mary’s a School of Sanctuary?


Our school vision calls for love and compassion: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

We live this vision every day at St. Mary’s and we are committed to educating the whole community about the challenges and journeys of forced displacement, fostering empathy, comprehension and compassion. We are committed to creating a welcoming culture by engaging with local organizations, partnering with other institutions to raise awareness and advocating for a compassionate stance towards those in search of safety.

St. Mary’s is at the forefront of schools receiving, welcoming and supporting those displaced forcibly. We have held two cultural festivals, taught a unique series of lessons on the hardships faced by refugees and those forced to leave their countries, and successfully resettled a family from Syria.

Furthermore, we have organized weekend events to offer support to refugees accommodated in local hotels. We have also extended gestures of welcome by sending cards to those staying in hotels in Walthamstow and other areas across the country. Additionally, we have ensured that Christmas and Easter gifts are sent as tokens of solidarity and care.