INVERNESS Royal Academy is to be awarded a silver Rights Respecting School Award by Unicef UK, an agency of the United Nations.
The school is the first in Highland to attain such recognition.
Councillor John Finlayson, chairman of Highland Council’s education committee, said: “I would like to congratulate Inverness Royal Academy staff and pupils for this significant achievement which puts young people and their rights at the heart of what the school does on a daily basis.
“I am sure everyone at the school feels a sense of pride at receiving this award and I am also sure that the school will be successful as it strives to achieve the gold award in the near future.”
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools 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.
The silver award 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.
Councillor Alasdair Christie, council depute leader said: “On behalf of the local members whose children attend the school, I would like to congratulate the pupils and staff of Inverness Royal Academy on achieving this award and being the first school in Highland to do so.
“The life lessons and principles this work instils in our pupils are incredibly important, which our children and young people will carry with them when they have left school.”
Head teacher Nigel Engstrand, added: “As a school we are not only proud that the school has achieved the silver award but we are also committed to achieving the gold award in the coming year. For the whole school community, the challenge now is for the principles and values of the convention to permeate all of the work that we do as an institution.
“It seems too obvious to stress the importance of putting children’s rights at the heart of a school but, surprisingly, it is only in recent years that such an approach has been recognised as being fundamental to young people’s health and wellbeing, their academic success and their participation in society as active citizens.”
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. Their 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.
Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as their guide, they are working with more UK schools than almost any other organisation, with 1.6 million children in the UK going to a Rights Respecting School, and more than 4,500 schools up and down the country working towards the award.
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