Unicef- Rights Respecting Schools Award
What is a Rights Respecting School?
There are three stages to the Rights Respecting Schools Award. Its transformative and rigorous approach means the journey to the highest stage can take up to four years.
Together 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 and children work towards this goal together.
There are four key areas of impact for children at a Rights Respecting school; well-being, 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 well-being 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.
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 well-being.
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.
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 become 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.
The Rights Respecting Schools Award puts children’s rights at the heart of schools in the UK
The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. Our Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values in daily school life and gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.
Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as their guide, Unicef are working with more UK schools than almost any other organisation. Over 1.6 million children in the UK go to a Rights Respecting School and nearly 5,000 schools up and down the country are working through the Award. Schools work with Unicef on a journey to become fully Rights Respecting.
The Award recognises a school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.
For more information on Rights Respecting Schools click here
We have now been awarded the Bronze Award Level. So a huge well done to everyone; we are really looking forward to continuing our journey to silver.