Party time for Rights Respecting Schools and UNCRC

Wednesday 20 November sees a bumper birthday celebration in Inverclyde. Local children and young people will be marking the fact that all of the area’s 27 schools are now UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools (RRS).

ST Columba's UNCRC 30th birthday cake
St Columba's High School
Moorfoot Primary UNCRC 30th birthday cake
Moorfoot Primary School

The children and young people will also be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Inverclyde Council became only the second local authority in the UK where every school has RRS status, when Clydeview Academy in Gourock received the coveted award in September. The RRS award recognises a school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.

In a unique move all of Inverclyde Council’s children’s units are also involved in the RRS scheme and local private nurseries are also working towards RRS status.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Education & Communities Committee, said, “The UNCRC describes what every child needs to survive, grow and thrive. It describes what they need to live with dignity and achieve their potential. Inverclyde Council is fully committed to the UNCRC and we are very proud that all of our schools are Rights Respecting Schools.

“One practical example of this commitment is ensuring young people have a say on the decisions which have a direct impact on their lives.”

Newark Nursery UNCRC 30th birthday cake
Newark Nursery

Over 200 children were recently involved in drafting the Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership’s Five Year Strategic Plan. A ‘child friendly’ version has also been produced. Similarly, young people have also been involved in designing the council’s Anti-Bullying and Bereavement, Change & Loss policies.

Frances Bestley, Programme Director Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools, said, “We’re very pleased to be working so closely with schools across Inverclyde to embed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in their ethos and culture, making a difference both inside and outside the school. Every school in Inverclyde is now a Rights Respecting School and we are very impressed by their excellent progress and the difference they are making for children.”

This year has also seen 960 childcare professionals across Inverclyde receive training through the RRS scheme.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child aims to recognise and protect the rights of children and young people and ensure that they grow up in a spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity. The UNCRC was drafted in 1989 and is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history.

​The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989. The United Kingdom approved the UNCRC in 1991. All the member countries of the United Nations have signed and ratified the UNCRC except for the United States of America.

The UNCRC describes what every child needs to survive, grow and thrive in order to live with dignity and achieve their potential. There are 54 articles of the UNCRC, the first 42 of which describe what every child and young person from birth to 18 years old should experience.

The Convention is based on four general principles:

  • Equality: the UNCRC applies to all children (Article 2)
  • The best interests of the child must be a top priority (Article 3)
  • Every child has the right to life, survival and opportunities to develop to their full potential (Article 6)
  • Every child has a right to be heard and listened to in matters that affect them (Article 12).