Penwortham Girls’ High School is to be awarded the Silver Rights Respecting School Award by UNICEF UK and is the first secondary school in Lancashire to achieve it.
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights.
The Rights Respecting School Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school. Silver is given to schools that make excellent progress towards embedding the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into its ethos and curriculum. There are over 1200 schools across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that have achieved Silver and over 500 schools that have been awarded Gold, the next step up and highest accolade granted by UNICEF UK.
Sharon Hall, Deputy headteacher said: “We are very proud to have gained the Silver Rights Respecting Schools Award which recognises the hard work the students, staff and the wider community have put in to learning about the rights our students enjoy. The RRSA has a positive impact on students and the school as a whole – encouraging discussion, helping students to articulate their views and ensuring they learn about the experiences of children around the world.”
The Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice. A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.
Mrs Hall, Deputy Headteacher
Penwortham Girls’ High School is extremely proud to have been awarded the Bronze award from UNICEF. UNICEF 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. The 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. We believe at Penwortham Girls’, it is vital that we educate students that the children’s rights are equal and universally applicable to all.
There are four key areas of impact for children at a Rights Respecting School; wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem. We will now be working hard to turn our action plan into practice despite lockdown to achieve the Silver level. This award also complements the work on the Lancashire County Council Equality Charter, where we have already achieved the ‘Race’ and ‘Religion’ equality marks for excellent practice in promoting equality in these areas. We are currently working towards achieving the ‘Gender and Gender Variance’ and the ‘Socio-economic’ equality marks as part of our ongoing mission to ensure that all our students are given every opportunity to be successful and thrive in our school community.
In addition to this, we are excited to announce that we have recently gained the status of ‘Stonewall School Champion’. Stonewall is a charity dedicated to promoting equality and protecting LGBT+ rights. As school champions we are aiming to further ensure that our school is a safe and inclusive environment for all our students.
We firmly believe that it is essential that everyone at Penwortham Girls’ High School should feel inspired, nurtured and able to thrive within our school community and we will continue to work to ensure that we champion equality and celebrate diversity with our students.
Mrs Hall (Deputy Headteacher) & Miss Starkie (Teacher of English)