Rights Respecting Schools

In 1989, governments across the world promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention states what countries must do so that all children grow as healthy as possible, can learn at school, are protected, have their views listened to and are treated fairly. The Convention has 54 rights in total.

The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) is a school-based initiative that aims to educate children and adults in schools about these rights and also the responsibilities we share in relation to these rights. It makes children’s rights explicit and ensures that they are upheld.

In a Rights Respecting school, it is important the adults, children and young people understand rights as inalienable, universal, unconditional, inherent and indivisible. Rights are unconditional – they are not dependent upon a responsibility and cannot be taken away. Because they are universal, however, children and adults should show rights-respecting behaviours. In this way individual children can both enjoy their own rights and respect the rights of others.

The Polden Bower School is committed and working hard to achieve the RRSA. In June 2019, we achieved the second step on our journey and received the Silver Award. We are now “GOING for GOLD!!!” At ‘Gold’ the whole school culture should be underpinned by rights.

Achieving Gold: Rights Respecting means there is evidence that we are…

  • teaching and learning about rights – through training, curriculum, assemblies, topics, focus weeks and displays.
  • teaching and learning through rights – by modelling rights respecting language and attitudes.
  • ambassadors for the rights of others – developing as rights respecting citizens.

We have an “Action Plan for GOLD”. A great strength at Polden Bower School is that our ethos already embeds a child rights approach into school life. Already, many of the UNCRC Rights are reflected in our policies, in teaching and learning and in provisions and activities. Evidence of the positive impact of these actions experienced by our children and young people will be presented to UNICEF UK for consideration for the Gold Award.

For more information please visit: UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools 

How are pupils involved?
As Rights Holders, pupils are encouraged to have an active participation in their learning and in the community. Pupils are invited to participate in steering groups such as our active Junior Leadership Team and School Council. They will be invited to talk about or demonstrate their understanding of their rights, to look at, choose and create RRSA resources such as posters, charters and displays. Pupils will also take part in charitable events and social action projects to help and support others. They will also learn and explore The Global Goals and becoming global aware citizens.

How can parent carers be involved?
Throughout the year, we would like your support with charity awareness and fundraising events to promote the rights of children in need and to practice a global ambassadorial role.

At person-centred EHCP Annual Reviews of Education, Health and Care Plans, parent carers have the opportunity to experience first-hand how the school's rights respecting ethos enables their child to have a voice, contribute in the school and community, and to enjoy life.

As Duty Bearers, it is important that you understand the rights and you can learn more about Rights Respecting School on the following website: UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools 

How are staff involved?
All staff understand their role as Duty Bearer, they model rights respecting language and attitudes and make strategic decisions that involve students. Rights are taught and learnt throughout the whole school community through training, curriculum, assemblies, topics, focus days/weeks, and displays. Governors are informed of progress throughout and are invited to participate actively as much as they can.