Rights Respecting School Award

Unicef Rights Respecting School

St. Margaret Mary School is very proud to be working towards the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award. The RRSA is an initiative run by UNICEF UK, which encourages schools to place the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of its ethos and curriculum.

'Rights' are things every child should have or be able to do. All children have the same rights. These rights are listed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Almost every country has agreed to these rights. All the rights are connected to each other and all are equally important.

Read more about the rights of children in a child friendly language:

Why the Rights Respecting School Award?

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

In St. Margaret Mary’s, our current aim is for all children to be aware of these rights. This will be done through a ‘Steering Group’ which will be made up of the representatives from the School Parliament and led by Mr Barton.

Some of the Articles of CRC:

  • Article 12: Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously.
  • Article 13: Every child must be free to say what they think and to seek and receive information of any kind as long as it is within the law.
  • Article 28: Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free. Secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s human dignity. Wealthy 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.

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.

Links to our School Ethos

The distinctive nature of being a part of a Catholic school is making Christ be known to all. With this in mind we base our ethos on the teachings of Jesus Christ; these are very human rights and are created so that we can all show each other respect, love and understand that each person should be treated with dignity. At St. Margaret Mary it is our mission that we live, love and learn together in the light and example of the life of Christ.

The Rights Respecting School’s award therefore links well with our existing Gospel Virtues.