Teaching students about their rights and respect
: Where does the impact lie?

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Since 2004, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has been running the initiative Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA). The award is open for all schools with three tiers of achievement from Recognition of Commitment, Level 1 and Level 2. Now, more than 1.5 million children attend a rights respecting school in the UK and over 4000 schools are registered as working towards the levels of the award. In essence, the award is built upon the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which was open for signature from the UN General Assembly in 1989. The UNCRC was ratified in the UK in 1991 and the RRSA recognises schools that embed the UNCRC across their general ethos, principles and teaching and learning approaches. Despite ratification of the Convention, many young people are not made aware of their rights under the Convention Articles if they do not attend a RRS; however, how far does the education of the UNCRC and teaching students an understanding of rights in school impact the school environment in fostering a culture of respect?

This professional learning enquiry discusses the impact of RRSA in a larger than average secondary school on the south coast of England. The school is accountable for 1,434 students on roll of mixed gender and is a maintained comprehensive with an age range of 11 to 18 years. The vast majority of students are White British and the school provides for students requiring special educational support including disabilities which is above average. The discussion of results highlights areas where there is evidence of improvement in the school through implementing RRSA and teaching students about the UNCRC which is fairly consistent with previous studies. It also discusses potential pitfalls and areas for development where the impact of RRSA is less evident and considers further investigation into strategies being implemented by the school going forward to create a culture of respect and behaviour for learning.
Date of Award28 Nov 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorChristopher Sweeney (Supervisor) & Brian Marsh (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Children’s rights
  • UNCRC
  • RRSA
  • UNICEF
  • Secondary education

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