Rights Respecting School AwardPosted on: April 9th 2022
In December we announced that we had begun our journey to become a school which is committed to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and were working towards the first stage of the RRSA accreditation with Unicef UK. I am excited to announce that since then, we have achieved our Bronze Award which means that we are a ‘Rights Committed’ school. This means that we have demonstrated our school’s commitment and shown how we intend to become rights respecting. The next step is working towards the Silver Award and being ‘Rights Aware’, which will involve the school’s activities and work on rights respecting being inspected by a UNICEF RRSA Professional Adviser.
Our initial survey of students and staff last term appraised our strengths and current position and helped with our action plan for the Silver ‘Rights Aware’ Award which has been developed in consultation with our Student Voice Ambassadors and other staff members. We have also introduced the Rights of the Child in assemblies across all year groups explaining how and why our decision to
becoming a Rights Respecting School is so important. A summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child can be found here. Sharing knowledge with our students to help them learn about their rights and putting them into practice every day is fundamental to the award.
As a school we already arrange events and facilitate discussions relating to the Convention, and will continue to raise the awareness of this within lessons, tutor time and in the day-to-day life of our school. The crisis which has unfolded in Ukraine, with devastating outcomes for so many people, including children, who have been forced to uproot their lives, make dangerous journeys and seek safety where they can, has been one topic discussed with students and incorporated into assemblies for all year groups. Article 38 (War and Armed Conflicts) of the Convention states that “Governments must not allow children under the age of 15 to take part in war or join the armed forces. Governments must do everything they can to protect and care for children affected by war and armed conflicts.” This, and the war in Ukraine, has been discussed in a variety of supportive ways with students as part of our RRSA and EfL activities. Students have also been able to contribute to a campaign promoted by the English Department which involves providing support for children displaced as a result of the conflict.