First for Cardiff; Welsh Medium Primary School receives School of Sanctuary Recognition

First for Cardiff; Welsh Medium Primary School receives School of Sanctuary Recognition



Ysgol Y Berllan Degin Llanedeyrn has become the first Welsh medium primary school in Cardiff to be awarded School of Sanctuary Recognition.


To mark the significant milestone, Cardiff Council Leader Cllr Huw Thomas has presented the school with its award during a special event attended by pupils, staff and governors, coinciding with the city’s 2023 Black History Month celebrations.

Recognised for establishing awelcoming and caringethos which supports pupils from all backgrounds the school has been supported by the Council’sEthnic Minority Travellers Achievement Service (EMTAS)to demonstrate ways in which pupils feel seen, supported and included as well asan understanding of what it means for someone to be seeking sanctuary and in need of help.

Assessors found thatthe schoolhas successfully worked with staff, governors, pupils, parents and communities to ensure that it is inclusive, welcoming and a safe haven for all. They noted;


  • Ysgol Y Berllan Deghave made a great start in developing a curriculum that acknowledges diversity whilst developing understanding and empathy for displaced groups of people.  The school is very proud to be the first Welsh medium primary to have achieved the award and is leading the work within the cluster.

Cardiff Council’s Leader Cllr Huw Thomas said: “Diversity is an integral part of Cardiff’s rich history and we pride ourselves on welcoming people from across the world, helping them to feel equal and valued members of society.

“Ysgol Y Berllan Deg becomes Cardiff’s first Wesh Medium‘Ysgol Noddfa’ – Sanctuary School and joins nineteen other schools in creating a welcoming environmentwhere pupils, staff and their wider communities understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary. The school has recognised the importance of embedding this ethos within their curriculum, helping to support Cardiff’s pledge to be a City of Sanctuary. I hope this will act as an example for other Welsh Medium schools to follow.”


What is a School of Sanctuary:

  • A place that fosters a culture of welcome and safety for people seeking sanctuary, including asylum seeking and refugee families.
  • Educates the whole school community about the human right to sanctuary and identifies practical means for schools to demonstrate that commitment.
  • Builds empathy and intercultural awareness through promoting the voices and contributions of people seeking sanctuary, encouraging an understanding of the experiences of displaced people and helping to combat stereotypes.

Headteacher Mari Phillips said: “We are extremely proud to be the first Welsh medium school in Cardiff to achieve this award. Although we do not currently have any refugees as part of the school community it has been a valuable experience for all involved to raise awareness of challenges facing refugees and to show that Ysgol Y Berllan Deg is a welcoming and safe place for children and families from all backgrounds and circumstances.”

Cardiff’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “We want all of our schools to be welcoming places of safety for all, offering sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.

“It is inspiring to see to seeYsgol Y Berllan Deg have recognised the importance of this regardless that they currently do not have anyasylum seeker or refugee children on roll. I encourage more schools to follow suit.

“Congratulations and thank you to pupils, parents, staff and governors at the schoolfor their hard work and dedication in achievingSchools of Sanctuary, an initiative which further supports Cardiff’s ambition to becoming the UK Committee for UNICEF UK Child Friendly City.”