Schools Doing More For Children’s Rights

11th July 2018

Jersey’s Children’s Commissioner is working with UNICEF to prioritise children’s rights in local schools.

Deborah McMillan hopes the charity’s ‘Rights Respecting Schools Award’ – which all schools can work towards achieving – will tackle bullying, and improve emotional and mental health. They were just some of the issues raised by young islanders in a recent consultation.

Children’s Commissioner, Deborah McMillan, speaking with her Young People’s Panel.

Grouville School has already been working towards the award for a number of years, becoming certified in 2014 for its work making sure students know they have a voice.

Headteacher, Nichola Turner, says it also gives pupils a broader outlook on life:

“Our Rights Respecting journey has enabled us to be involved in all sorts of incredible opportunities which have enriched learning. From hosting Enable Jersey tea parties to welcoming children from Mifumi School, fundraising for an earthquake-stricken village in Nepal to working alongside the amazing Karen Painter from the Red Cross. Our children are passionate about making a difference, especially for children who are not as fortunate as them.”

The Children’s Commissioner now wants the rest of the island’s primary and secondary schools to take part.

Mrs McMillan says the Rights Respecting Schools Award has proven to have benefits:

“Children and young people have told me that some of the main issues they are facing are linked to bullying and emotional and mental health. Evaluation of the RRSA has shown that when schools embed children’s rights into the heart of what they do, these are some of the main areas of improvement. The benefits of the RRSA aren’t just felt by pupils, but by the wider school community as a whole. By supporting all schools in Jersey to go through this programme, there is the scope for this to have a profound impact on our island’s children.”

You can find out more about the programme on the UNICEF website.

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