Rights Respecting SchoolAt Richard Atkins Primary School we are committed to ensuring that both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and global citizenship are central to our core values and ethos.
How does the RRSA make a difference?
The UNCRC enhances pupils’ understanding of the consequences of individual and group actions on the rights of others locally and globally. The articles of the Convention are based on the recognition of every child’s basic needs in order to thrive.
The UNCRC therefore sets out a child’s rights to:
- Survive and have good health
- Be protected from harm
- Develop their talents and skills
- Participate in the world to which they belong.
Through our participation in UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School Award programme we aim to ensure that our pupils know that they have the right to be heard in those decisions which affect them. By enabling our children to develop and apply the skills, language and concepts that allow them to realise their rights they will know how to go about making informed decisions and become confident, active citizens.
Evidence gathered from schools that have already completed the award suggests that there has been a positive impact on school ethos, pupils’ self-esteem, behaviour and their development as global citizens resulting in a raised sense of security and self-confidence.
Impact on the pupils
If the “rights and responsibilities” guide to living is introduced at an early age and reinforced through school life UNICEF has shown that children are more respectful of the rights of others.
- Improved self-esteem and feelings of being valued and listened to.
- Increased levels of respect for each other, leading to improved relationships with other pupils and with staff.
- A sense of security as rights-respecting language and behaviour is used consistently throughout the school.
- Improved attainment and attendance, and a reduction in exclusions.
- An understanding and respect of religions, cultures, beliefs and abilities different to their own.
- A wider and deeper understanding of the world in which they live.
What is the Rights Respecting School Award?
In order to achieve the award the school must meet the required standards across four aspects of school life.
- Leadership and management which promotes the values of the UNCRC in the life of the school
- Knowledge of the UNCRC including an understanding that with rights comes responsibilities
- Rights-respecting climate and culture in the classroom
- Active pupil participation in decision making.
When the school feels it has met the required standards a UNICEF UK Education Officer will conduct an assessment. This is usually after a period of 18 months. If the necessary standards are confirmed the school will be presented with a certificate.
What can adults do to help children realise their rights?
All adults (parents, teachers or the government) are known as Duty Bearers. It is our responsibility to make children aware of their rights and to act if their rights are not being met.
Further information can be obtained from UNICEF