Rights Respecting Schools

St Vincent’s is a recognised UNICEF Rights Respecting School

What is a Rights Respecting School?

In the words of a pupil from a Primary Rights Respecting School: “A Rights Respecting School is a place where we can all feel confident with ourselves and it encourages us to use our voice. It’s a safe environment where everyone feels comfortable. We know we have to respect each other’s opinions and they have to respect yours too. Every child is treated the same in our school and we’re all special in our own way! A Rights Respecting School is a place where everyone cares for each other. It has helped me build my confidence. It has helped me raise awareness of injustice in the world.”

A Unicef UK Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Children and young people and the school community learn about children’s rights by 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 and adults and children work towards this together.

What we see in schools that have achieved the Award

  • All children and adults learn about the Convention. Children’s rights become an integral part of the school’s learning.
  • Children, young people and adults in the school learn how the values and principles of the Convention help to create a safe and healthy environment.
  • Children and young people meaningfully participate in the school’s life and have opportunities to express their views, be listened to and influence positive change in their school. In Rights Respecting Schools, 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 wellbeing.
  • Children and young people are empowered to access information that enables them to make informed decisions about their learning, health and wellbeing.
  • Children and adults develop an ethos and language of rights and respect around the school. Rights and principles of the Convention are used to clarify moral developments and consider rights-respecting solutions – this all has a huge impact on relationships and well-being.
  • Children and young people get very 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.

St Vincent’s is currently a Level 1 Rights Respecting School. We aim to be a Level 2 Rights Respecting School by Summer of 2016.

Achieving Level 1 means:

  • Our school is explicitly embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in our policy, practice and culture
  • We see the positive impact of these actions on children and staff, and also on the school’s ethos, practice and environment
  • We promote knowledge and understanding of the Convention throughout our school community
  • Children and young people see themselves as rights-respecting global citizens and advocates for fairness and children’s rights locally and globally