Ross High School in Tranent has become the first secondary school in East Lothian to be awarded a level 2 Rights Respecting School award by UNICEF UK.

The school has been awarded the highest level of award, which recognises achievement in fully embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into the school’s policies, practice and ethos. The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School award supports schools to develop positive relationships, develop a shared vision and improve behaviour and engagement in learning.

We have found the process extremely valuable and it has led to a much improved ethos across the whole school.

Paul Reynolds, Head Teacher

The school first registered to become Rights Respecting in May 2013 and first achieved Level 1 in June 2015. This latest award follows an assessment visit by UNICEF UK to meet with young people and staff, prior to which the school had completed a comprehensive self-assessment report and impact evaluation.

UNICEF UK’s report noted several key strengths including:

  • A strong strategic direction that is fully committed to the Rights Respecting School Award
  • Very positive respectful relationships throughout the school
  • Pupil Voice is a strength of the school and continues to be nurtured and encouraged

Paul Reynolds, Head Teacher, said:

“We are delighted to have achieved this award as pupils, parents and staff have been working hard on this over the last couple of years. We have found the process extremely valuable and it has led to a much improved ethos across the whole school. As part of this initiative we have established new Aims and Values, developed a Code of Conduct and introduced a Code of Learning. All of these are at the heart of everything we do here at Ross High School, summarised through our mission statement, Excellence for Everyone.

“I am particularly pleased that the work we have done to strengthen Pupil Voice in the school has been recognised and praised in the report. I would like to thanks Miss Duncan and Mr Munro, as well as all of the pupils involved, for all their efforts in leading this initiative.”

Councillor Shamin Akhtar, Cabinet spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services, said:

“This award is fantastic news. It takes a number of years to achieve the highest level of award, and congratulations go to everyone at Ross High for their hard work over recent years to achieve this status. When children and young people understand their rights, they know how other people should be treated. They become happier, healthier and more confident, and more engaged in their learning. All of this has a lasting positive impact on the wider community. I hope other schools are inspired and encouraged by Ross High’s success.”

The school will be presented with a certificate and logo recognising their status and will be included on the list of Rights Respecting Schools on UNICEF UK’s website. The award is valid for three years, after which time the school will be reassessed.

Published: Wednesday, 8th November 2017