When we started our journey to become a “child friendly city” we asked children and young people what they thought our priorities should be. One of the areas they wanted us to focus on education, so we set out to make sure that all children and young people could access a high-quality education that promotes their rights and helps them develop their skills and talents to the full.
One of the many ways we tried to achieve this was by working with UNICEF to support maintained schools to join the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) and put children’s rights at the heart of their communities.
There are three stages to the Rights Respecting Schools Award: Bronze (Rights Committed), Silver (Rights Aware) and Gold (Rights Respecting). Throughout our journey Child Friendly Cardiff has sourced multiple funding opportunities to cover training on a first-come first-served basis and in early 2022, Cardiff Council secured funding to cover the subscription cost for all Cardiff schools giving them equal opportunity to participate!
We were the first local authority in England and Wales to centrally fund the RRSA!
We have seen a lot of progress since we first started. In 2018 when the Child Friendly Cardiff programme was launched there were:
- 2 Gold Schools
- 2 Silver Schools
- 16 Bronze Schools
In October of 2023, Cardiff had:
- 18 Gold Schools
- 33 Silver Schools
- 45 Bronze Schools
Together young people and the school communities across the city are learning about children’s rights and putting them into practice every day. The award is not just about what children do but also, importantly, what adults do. In Rights Respecting Schools children’s rights are promoted and realised, adults and children work towards this goal together.
There are four key areas of impact for children at a Rights Respecting school; wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem.
The difference that a Rights Respecting School makes goes beyond the school gates, making a positive impact on the whole community.
- Children are healthier and happier
- Children feel safe
- Children have better relationships
- Children become active and involved in school life and the wider world
Find out more about the impact of the award here.
If your school isn’t registered or it is but you didn’t know, please feel free to email us at email@example.com
One day soon we hope for all schools to be on their journey to becoming a Rights Respecting School!