Rights Respecting School

A Rights Respecting School

How do we, at Laycock, work with UNICEF?

We have worked extremely hard to embed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Rights of the Child in to our policies, processes and procedures- including our curriculum.

Our curriculum maps are endorsed by the UN.

Our assemblies are endorsed by the UN.

Below is some information about UNICEF and the brilliant work they do.

Further down the page you can see what we do at Laycock to support and celebrate this.

UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award at Laycock!

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) 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. Our 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 Award recognises a school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.

The award looks at the following:

Behaviour and Attitudes

The Framework draws attention to high expectations, fairness, mutual respect, high rates of attendance. In Rights Respecting Schools these are founded less on a ‘rules based’ system and more on a shared understanding of everyone’s rights and a commitment to respect ones own and other people’s rights. The phrase in the Framework: ‘Leaders, teachers and learners create an environment…’ is directly supported by the RRSA expectation that the pupils have an effective say in the life of their school and a meaningful part to play in decision making.

Personal Development

The Framework expects the development of talents, building of resilience and confidence, empowerment around physical and mental health, valuing diversity and the promotion of active citizenship. All 9 outcomes of the RRSA programme relate to the requirements set out in this section of the Ofsted framework. Linking these aspirations to their Human Rights helps pupils to ‘own’ and commit to them.

Leadership and Management

The Framework speaks of inclusive education,  strong, shared values and engagement as well as safeguarding. A rights-based approach provides all school leaders with a globally recognised values base and a clear philosophy on which to build highly effective school systems and structures. It empowers and challenges leaders to see children and young people as collaborators in the educational enterprise and to always take action ‘in the best interests’ (Article 3) of their pupils.

What is the United Nations and what do they do?

The United Nations (UN) is an international organisation committed to achieving peace and security through what is known as ‘human rights’. Any country involved in the UN (see below) are part of an international human rights agreement involving three core principles:

  1. Dignity
  2. Equality
  3. Respect

The rights of child is part of these. Within the UN there is a global human rights agenda for everyone under the age of 18.

The rights of the child was recognised in 1989 and is now the well known and used most human rights treaty internationally. State parties involved in the UN have agreed to be bound by

treaties supporting these rights. Anyone involved in this are known as duty bearers and must uphold the articles outlines by the UN convention. Duty bearers can be:

  • police officers
  • lawyers
  • teachers
  • social workers, for example

An example of how teaching professionals are responsible for the right of the child is quite simple: If a child was being bullied in school, the teaching professional needs to take the responsible actions to ensure the safety of al children and the teaching of children’s rights, feelings and the impact actions or words can have.

Anyone under age of 18 year of age is rights holder, despite their age, sex, religion, and even citizenship in the country they are residing in!

Which countries are involved in the UN?

What are human rights?

Human rights are standards that recognise and protect the dignity of all human beings. They govern how individual human beings live in society and with each other, as well as their relationship with the State and the obligations that the State has towards them.

Human rights law obliges governments to undertake certain actions, and prevents them from undertaking others.

In using their human rights, individuals must acknowledge and respect the rights of others. No goverment, group or individual person should do anything that violates another person’s rights.

Human rights are:

  • Universal – they guarantee freedom, dignity, equality and a fair standard of living for everyone, at all times and everywhere, irrespective of gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, language, place of residence and any other status
  • Inherent – people have rights simply by nature of being human. Rights are there at birth
  • Inalienable – rights cannot be taken away
  • Unconditional – rights do not have to be earned
  • Indivisible – everyone should have all their rights, and all their rights are connected and equally important

Rights require awareness and participation of both rights holders (for example, children are rights holders in the case of children’s rights) and duty bearers (for example, governments and professionals working with and for children and young people). People should know what their rights are and should be empowered and have the opportunity to claim their rights.

Human rights (including children’s rights) are set out in international law to ensure that governments respect, protect, promote and fulfil the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all people.

Here are UNICEF’s ABCDE of rights resource which explain the more complex concepts of rights to children.

To find out more, watch this clip from UNICEF

What is the CRC?

The Convention of Rights on the Child has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the social, economic, political, civil and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to. It also explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights.

The unique thing about the Convention is that it is the most widely ratified human rights treaty (meaning a country is held responsible for the rights in the Convention), having been ratified by every single country in the world apart from one – the United States of America. This provides a common ethical legal framework for the realisation of children’s rights, highlighting the role of society, communities and families to promote and protect children’s rights.

Summary of the UNCRC