On Friday 24th April we were delighted to present the School of Sanctuary Award to the Oasis Academy Foundry in Winson Green. The school has children from all over the world and 40 different languages are spoken. The school is on the corner of James Turner Street (the infamous “Benefits Street”) and the Oasis Academy Chain took over just as the first programme was being broadcas. In spite of the high turnover (the average stay is two terms) because the City Council uses this part of Birmingham for emergency accommodation, the school has achieved remarkable improvements in ethos, attendance and achievement, with parents now asking not to be re-housed because the children are settled in the school. On the day of the presentation, the children who took part addressed the assembly in Romanian, Czech, Lithuanian, Kurdish and Polish. The whole focus of the school is to provide a place of welcome and safety.
We hope that Foundry will spread the word about Schools of Sanctuary amongst the Academy chain and also to the schools in their local association. There are already plans for joint activity with our first Birmingham School of Sanctuary St Chad’s and another School-of-Sanctuary-in-preparation.