Students from three partner Erdington academies and MP Jack Dromey united for the launch of their participation in UNICEF’S Rights Respecting School Award – an empowering movement that puts children at the heart of schools in the UK.
Children from Brookvale and Stockland Green schools visited fellow Arthur Terry Learning Partnership School (ATLP), Slade, to take part in an awareness-raising assembly and to meet with Erdington MP Jack Dromey. The schools pledged their joint commitment to the award, which recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into practice within the school and beyond.
International children’s charity, UNICEF, works with UK schools to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. The Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values in daily school life and gives students the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.
Slade headteacher Helen Hastilow said:
We’re working collaboratively with Stockland Green School and Brookvale to create and harness the vision of empowering our students across the Erdington ATLP community. As UNICEF recognises, the difference that a Rights Respecting School makes goes beyond the school gates, making a positive impact on the whole community. We are all looking forward to embedding these values into school life and would like to thank Jack for supporting this worthwhile initiative.”
As part of Slade Primary School’s unfolding vision of being a Rights Respecting School, children have already been involved and designing artwork highlighting some of their rights under the convention, including the right to have an education, the right to have respect and the right to privacy.
Slade learning mentor, Aaron Bair (pictured with Jack Dromey), said:
The goal is to bring the UNICEF rights for the child convention to the cognizance of Slade universe. We want our pupils to know their rights and understand the rights of others, as part of the international community.
Part of our aim is empower and enable our future leaders and get them to think globally, rights respecting is a process that is themed and has to be part of the School action plan, we are working towards the recognition of the commitment phase of the programme.”
The Right Respecting Schools Award has three stages and together, young people and the school community learn about children’s rights, putting them into practice every day.
There are four key areas of impact for children at a Rights Respecting school; wellbeing – children are healthier and happier; participation – children feel safe; relationships – children have better relationships and self-esteem – children become active and involved in school life and the wider world.
Jack Dromey (pictured) said:
I’m privileged to be supporting these schools in their journey to becoming Rights Respecting Schools. The award provides a framework of excellence on which schools, students and communities can build a mutual understanding of the rights of our children and ensure that their voices are heard and respected, and that these young people feel empowered.
We are all committed to putting children at the heart of schools and it’s a pleasure to be here today to help transform the lives of young people in our community.”