A Bolton secondary school has become the first in the town to scoop a prestigious award.

Harper Green has been awarded the Schools of Sanctuary National Award, recognising the schools commitment to being a welcoming place for those seeking safety.

In September, Harper Green School undertook the City of Sanctuary pledge, an initiative designed to create inclusive, safe, and welcoming spaces at schools.

The school impressed in several key areas to clinch this award.

(Image: Harper Green School)

Boglarka Fercsi, EAL intervention co-ordinator, said: "Students have connected remarkably well with this project.

"Our Inclusion and Diversity group has expanded to include Schools of Sanctuary ambassadors.

"They were eager to share with the judging panel the many positive actions we have taken to help others, including those fleeing violence and persecution.

"This award reflects our deep commitment to providing a safe space, and I am incredibly proud to have achieved this on behalf of everyone involved."

Harper Green prides itself on its accommodating atmosphere, aiming to welcome the diverse ideas, beliefs, and values of its community.

Particular attention is paid to ensuring students facing unique challenges are fully integrated into school life.

This integration is made possible through the encouragement of extracurricular activities, provision of resources, and peer mentoring through the school's buddy system.

The school's efforts towards academic and personal development include tailored interventions such as English as an Additional Language (EAL) support.

They also offer extra language options for GCSEs, including the Step Up to English silver and gold accolades.

Harper Green also actively participated in community work, celebrating various religious occasions, and hosting its first Community Iftar, a dinner to break the Ramadan fast.

Their inclusivity is further exhibited through the various extracurricular activities offered, collaborating with external organizations to expose students to first-hand accounts of life as an asylum seeker.