Longniddry Primary School has become the latest school in East Lothian to be awarded a Rights Respecting School award by UNICEF UK.

Longniddry Primary School, which has been awarded silver status, is one of 34 schools in East Lothian registered in the Rights Respecting Schools programme. The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School award supports schools to develop positive relationships, develop a shared vision and improve behaviour and engagement in learning. The award recognises achievement in embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into the school’s policies, practice and ethos.

The school first registered to become Rights Respecting in January 2017 and achieved bronze status in March 2017.This latest award follows an assessment visit by UNICEF UK to meet with children 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:

  • Pupils and staff have a good understanding that rights are unconditional and are for everyone, locally and globally
  • Pupils are confident that they have a strong voice, and that they are nurtured, respected, and felt safe in school
  • The school’s support of a number of local and global charities, and organisation of events to raise awareness of these in the local community

Sheona Skinner, Head Teacher, said:

“Our Rights Respecting Pupil Voice group – which comprises pupils from every class in the school - has worked extremely hard with our Depute Head Teacher Mrs Stephanie MacFadyen, to achieve this success. 

“We have refreshed our aims, vision and values, and updated a number of our policies, as well as creating a child friendly school improvement plan – all of which can be seen by visitors to the school.

“We are all really proud of the efforts of the children, as well as the hard work by staff too, and we are now looking forward to working towards achieving gold.”

"We know that when children and young people understand their human rights, and therefore understand how other people should be treated, they become happier, healthier and more confident, and more engaged in their learning."

Cllr Shamin Akhtar, Cabinet spokesperson for Education and Children's Services

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

“This award is fantastic news, and my congratulations go to everyone at Longniddry Primary School for their hard work to achieve this status – it’s a great achievement, and they should be very proud.

“We know that when children and young people understand their human rights, and therefore understand how other people should be treated, they become happier, healthier and more confident, and more engaged in their learning. It’s clear that this, in turn, has a lasting positive impact on the wider community.

“The vast majority of our schools are registered with Rights Respecting Schools, and it’s a commitment in our Service Improvement Plan that all our schools participate, as we believe it’s absolutely integral to ensuring that children have the best start in life.

“I am delighted that Longniddry Primary School has been recognised for their efforts, which I’m sure will inspire and encourage other schools to achieve 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: Tuesday, 24th April 2018