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Cotham School

Equality and Inclusion

School of Sanctuary

We are delighted to have recently become a School of Sanctuary. As a place of sanctuary, we are committed to welcoming and supporting asylum seekers, refugees, and their families. 

We support the ‘City of Sanctuary’ vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all and are proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.

We endorse the City of Sanctuary Charter and agree to act in accordance with the City of Sanctuary values and apply the network principles within our work (as far as our specific context enables us to).

We recognise the contribution of people seeking sanctuary. Sanctuary seekers are welcomed, included and supported within our context. We expect our branches or local groups (if any) to support their local City of Sanctuary group if one exists, and will facilitate contact between them and their local City of Sanctuary group.

Equality and Inclusion

Bristol is a city marked by vast socio-economic inequality and despite being considered a prosperous city, with an above average educational system, Bristol has more areas categorised as being in the most deprived 10% in England compared to other cities in the country. Bristol also shoulders a very specific legacy in the context of colonial history including the slave trade as well as the Civil Rights Activism of the 1960s.  

When looking at the data across the city of Bristol and indeed across the country, it outlines that BAME students are underperforming compared with their peers and there is a larger percentage of BAME students who are permanently excluded.  While there are going to be external factors, beyond the school’s control, that contribute to this disparity, we are committed to tackling any internal factors that may also be contributing to the lower levels of attainment amongst our BAME students.  

Combined with this, Bristol is facing wider challenges that expose our young people to greater levels of aggression, violence and disorder, more often than not as a result of growing tensions between different groups in the wake of events such as Brexit.  Bristol holds a proud ‘Exist to Resist’ identifier. Cotham’s diversity is our greatest gift, and we are passionate to put in the hard work to tackle unconscious bias, xenophobia, homophobia and marginalisation and also to continue our journey to being an anti racist school. 

Promoting equality, celebrating diversity and championing inclusion is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to the social justice and equity required to give all our students the knowledge, experience and skills to counter inequality and build a world that is a fairer and safer place for all. This work is being undertaken in a number of different ways as outlined in various sections on this page.