Gold: Rights Respecting

Understanding the third stage of the Award

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Gold: Rights Respecting is the third stage of the Rights Respecting Schools Award.

It is granted by UNICEF UK to schools that have fully embedded children’s rights throughout the school in its policies, practice and ethos, as outlined in the RRSA Strands and Outcomes (see Gold Forms and Guides).

To achieve Gold: Rights Respecting, schools will be assessed by one of our Professional Advisers who will look at the whole school’s rights respecting work and the impact that has been made through embedding children’s rights into school life.

Your Gold: Rights Respecting accreditation is valid for three years, after which time you might choose to be re-accredited at Gold (see Sustaining Gold).

Achieving Gold: Rights Respecting means there is evidence that:

  • Your school has explicitly adopted a child rights approach based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and has embedded it in school policy, practice and culture.
  • Children, young people and adults in your school have a thorough understanding of child rights, and rights respecting attitudes and language are embedded across the school.
  • RRSA has had a positive impact on children and young people’s learning and wellbeing.
  • Students see themselves as rights respecting global citizens and are advocates for social justice, fairness and children’s rights at home and abroad.

Children and young people also play an increasingly leading role in driving progress. At Gold: Rights Respecting, you are aiming to intensify and broaden:

  1. Teaching and Learning about rights: for the whole school community through training, curriculum, assemblies, topics, focus days/weeks, displays.
  2. Teaching and Learning through rights: by modelling rights respecting language and attitudes and making strategic decisions that involve students.
  3. Being ambassadors for the rights of others: developing as rights respecting citizens.

Take a look at our Teaching and Learning Toolbox for more detail on this.

Our E-Learning, course Strengthening RRSA Online, and our Achieving Gold Training Course provide opportunities to gather practical ideas on implementing children’s rights in school. You can also discuss achieving Gold with others through our Support Workshop for Gold which run once a month. See the Training section for more information.

Do you ever take an Award away?

The Rights Respecting Schools Award is based on nationally agreed standards and uses a system of accreditation (as explained above) that looks at all aspects of the school’s life and work. Similar to other inspection processes, the accreditation is made on the evidence seen during the accreditation visit. Individual situations and experiences outside the accreditation process cannot, on their own, determine the school’s accreditation as Rights Respecting but we do take concerns seriously.

If a Rights Respecting School experiences an event or circumstance that puts it at odds with its Rights Respecting status (at either Silver or Gold), the Programme Director may ask that the school be reaccredited sooner than the three-year life of the Award. This would be done to support the school at a difficult time and, out of respect to all our other schools, to maintain the consistency and status of the RRSA. In exceptional circumstances, we reserve the right to suspend an Award.

This approach has been approved by our Schools Accreditation and Standards Committee and this is made clear to schools at the time they are awarded Silver or Gold.

Working towards Gold: Rights Respecting

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