Rights Respecting School

The Rights Respecting Schools Award puts children’s rights at the heart of schools in the UK. Unicef 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. Unicef’s 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.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is based on an analysis of what children need in order to thrive. These needs can be grouped into four categories:

  • To survive as a fit and healthy person
  • To be protected from harm and abuse
  • To develop physically, mentally and socially
  • To participate as an active citizen

We have achieved BRONZE and are now working towards SILVER.

The award recognises achievement under the following four aspects of school life:

  • Leadership and management for embedding the values of the UNCRC in the life of the school
  • Knowledge and understanding of CRC
  • Classroom climate and culture: rights-respecting classroom
  • Pupils actively participate in decision-making throughout the school

Some of the Articles of CRC:

Article 3– The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children..

Article 13– Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is in the law.

Article 28– Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.

Article 29– Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

Article 31-Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural activities. A full list of the articled can be found here

UNICEF UK believes that the principles and values of the CRC should be embedded in the ethos and curriculum of every school. This is the purpose of the Rights Respecting School Award.

UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) provides a framework to help schools to use CRC as the basis for their ethos. In a rights respecting school, children learn about their rights and the responsibilities that are implied. Children learn to associate rights with needs and distinguish between their rights and ‘wants’. They learn that if they have rights, they need to respect the rights of others.