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UNICEF Rights Respecting School

 

We are proud to be a GOLD UNICEF Rights Respecting School. This means that children's rights are learned, understood and lived in this school. Miss Bickerton leads this area in our school along with the support of the Rights Respecting School  (RRS) Steering group, who meet frequently throughout the year to ensure we are doing all we can to support each other's rights and continue to develop and improve in what we do.

 

What is a Rights Respecting School?

In a Rights Respecting School, young people and the school community learn about children’s rights, putting them into practice every day. The Award is not just about what children do but also, importantly, what adults do. In Rights Respecting Schools, children’s rights are promoted and realised, adults (duty bearers) and children (rights holders) work towards this goal together. Duty bearers and rights holders commit to this shared goal by learning about their rights, through their rights and for the rights of others. 

 

There are four key areas of impact for children at a Rights Respecting school; wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem. The difference that a Rights Respecting School makes goes beyond the school gates, making a positive impact on the whole community.

 

Children are healthier and happier

By promoting the values of respect, dignity and non-discrimination, children’s self-esteem and wellbeing is boosted and they are less likely to suffer from stress. A child who understands their rights understands how they and others should be treated and their sense of self-worth is strengthened.

  • 97% of headteachers at Rights Respecting Schools said the award had improved children’s respect for themselves and each other
  • 93% of headteachers at Rights Respecting Schools said the award had helped children to embrace diversity and overcome prejudices
  • “We all know our rights and know that if our rights aren’t respected we can do something.” – Primary pupil at a Rights Respecting School

 

Children feel safe

The Rights Respecting Schools Award gives children a powerful language to use to express themselves and to challenge the way they are treated. They are also able to challenge injustices for other children. Children and young people are empowered to access information that enables them to make informed decisions about their learning, health and wellbeing.

  • 76% of headteachers at Rights Respecting Schools say the award has helped to reduce bulling and exclusions
  • In some cases children have been able to use the language of rights to tell teachers they do not feel safe at home or in their community, whether that’s because of violence, abuse or neglect
  • “Learning about rights has made them [children] more confident about speaking out. They are more confident and articulate.” – Parent of a pupil at an Rights Respecting School

 

Children have better relationships

Both with their teachers and their peers, based on mutual respect and the value of everyone’s opinion. In a Rights Respecting school children are treated as equals by their fellow pupils and by the adults in the school.  Children and young people are involved in how the Award is implement in the school but are also involved in strategic decision-making; in decisions about their learning; and in views about their well-being.

  • 98% of headteachers at Rights Respecting Schools said the Award had improved relationships and behaviour
  • “Our views are taken very seriously. Our opinion matters because we are the pupils, we know what it is like in the school and their (adults) perspective is different from ours.” – Primary pupil from a Rights Respecting School

 

Children become active and involved in school life and the wider world

This builds their confidence to make informed decisions. They have a moral framework, based on equality and respect for all that lasts a lifetime, as they grow into engaged, responsible members of society. Children and adults develop an ethos and language of rights and respect around the school. Rights and principles of the Convention are used to put moral situations into perspective and consider rights-respecting solutions – this all has a huge impact on relationships and well-being. Children and young people get very involved in raising awareness about social justice issues, both at home and abroad. They become ambassadors for rights and take part in campaigns and activities to help to bring about change. 

  • 93% of headteachers at Rights Respecting Schools said the award contributed to children and young people being more engaged in their learning.
  • RRSA has changed the way I teach, I have the rights in my head when I do planning but also when working pastorally. When there is a problem I say ‘you have the right to be heard and I will listen to you.” –  Teacher from a Rights Respecting School
  • “It’s made me very aware of my surroundings. We do loads of things that make everyone else aware too, like sending red hands [letters] to Members 

 

What rights do children have?

The UNCRC stands for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The CRC sets out the human rights of every person under the age of 18 and is the most complete statement on children’s rights treaty in history. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989 and is the most widely adopted international human rights treaty in history. The UK ratified the CRC in 1991. A copy of the CRC can be found in the links below. Please watch this short video clip for further information surrounding young people's rights under international human rights law (the Convention on the Rights of the Child or CRC for short).

RRS Steering group

The steering group is a group of young people and adults from across the school community who lead the schools’ Rights Respecting work. They are here to influence and drive forward change. This group has a leading role to play in our work as a rights respecting school and is therefore representative of the whole school community, including children from different key stages. Our steering group meets regularly and with clear agendas and action points so that the group can:

  • To take the lead in developing and delivering the school’s Rights Respecting action plan.
  • To ensure that the whole school is aware of the Rights Respecting Schools Award.
  • To provide a link between children and young people, teachers, senior management team, governors and the whole school community.
  • To regularly feedback to the school community about progress, including to the SMT, governors, staff and parents.
  • To prepare for the assessment by collating evidence and being able to meet with the assessor(s).

 

Follow this link for more information about rights respecting schools: 

https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/the-rrsa/what-is-a-rights-respecting-school/

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