Unicef Rights Respecting Schools

Rights Respecting Schools

at st. michael’s CE (VA) junior school

What is the Rights Respecting Schools initiative?

The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. The RRSA seeks to put the UN Convention Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s ethos and culture to improve well-being and develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential.

What are children's rights?

All human beings – adults and children alike – are entitled to basic human rights.  Children have a particular set of rights due to their vulnerability and need for protection.  The UNCRC sets out the rights that must be realised for children to develop to their full potential, free from hunger, neglect and abuse.  These rights are not something that children need to earn or that adults and governments can take away as a punishment.  They contain the basic protection and support that all children are entitled to.  All children have the same rights, no matter what their background or where they live.

What does the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child say?

There are 42 articles in the Convention, but they can be summed up as follows:

The right to a childhood

Every child has the right to a safe childhood, protected from violence, abuse and exploitation. Every child has the right to grow up in a family environment, free from adult responsibilities and with the right to play.

The right to an education

Every child has the right to an education that develops their personality, talents and abilities to the full.

The right to be healthy

Every child has the right to health care, clean water, nutritious food and a safe environment so they can be as healthy as possible.

The right to be treated fairly

All children have the same rights whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say and whatever their family background.

Article 29 is particularly important for schools:

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.

So how did we start our journey?

First of all our Senior Leadership Team put the Rights Respecting Schools initiative onto our School Development Plan. 

Then our teachers were taught about Rights Respecting Schools and talked about what we would have to do to become one. 

We let parents know by sending information home and putting up displays around the school.

Each year, Mrs Bowcher works with members of the Rights Respecting School Committee and the School Council. They are in charge of running the project and achieving the outcomes of our action plan.

How are things Going?

Where are we now?

How can parents support their child to learn about the Convention at home?

For more information about the Rights Respecting School Award, please go to: