Rights Respecting School

What does it mean to be a rights respecting school?

As a Rights Respecting school, we are guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the child and seek to ensure that Barnsley Academy is free from intolerance, intimidation, and unkindness of any sort. We support our students to acknowledge that knowing the difference between right and wrong is not always straightforward and that an individual’s values, beliefs, and moral codes can change over time. We, therefore, seek to teach all staff and students to understand that it is both a personal and collective responsibility to guarantee mutual, respectful relationships with others. Our warm-strict behaviour policy is designed to ensure the following principles are followed: 

  • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to all Barnsley Academy students, without discrimination (Article 2).  
  • The best interests of the child are a top priority in all decisions and actions (Article 3).  
  • Children have the right to share their views about matters concerning them (Article 12).   
  • Children have the right to access information and share their views on it, as long as the information is not damaging to them or others (Article 13).  
  • Children have the right to learn reliable information through the media and to be protected from materials that may harm them (Article 17).  
  • Children have the right to be protected from being hurt or mistreated, either physically or mentally (Article 19).    
  • Children with any kind of disability have the right to receive appropriate care and support (Article 23).   
  • Children have the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical and mental needs (Article 27).   
  • A child’s education should develop their personality, talents and abilities to the fullest, whilst teaching respect for human rights, for others and for the environment (Article 29).  
  • Minority or indigenous children have the right to learn about and practise their own culture, language and religion (Article 30).   
  • Children have the right to take part in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities (Article 31).  
  • Both adults and children will have a clear knowledge of these rights (Article 42). 

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC, is the basis of all of Unicef’s work. It is the most complete statement of children’s rights ever produced and is the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty in history.

The Convention has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to. It also explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights. Every child has rights, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status.

Please see the rights overview for a summary of Articles 1-42.

  • It develops a common language to build the schools vision and values.
  • They are an inalienable set of rights which the children have a right to know (Article 42)
  • Children and young people become actively involved in the learning process
  • Children and young people take responsibility for respecting their right to an education, and the rights of others
  • It is an efficient and effective framework for School Improvement
  • To build good global citizens
  • Everyone in the school community has a clear framework of reference
  • Children become advocates for their own learning: “Learning is not what’s done to us anymore – we are responsible for leading it – it’s our right” (Girl aged 10 years)
  • Improved behaviours for Learning
  • Less passive and more active learners
  • Improved results

Article 3 (Best interests of the child): The best interests of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that may affect them. All adults should do what is best for children. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. This particularly applies to budget, policy and law makers.

The Convention defines a ‘child’ as a person below the age of 18. Anyone above that age is known as a duty-bearer. Children are not responsible for upholding their rights, a five-year-old for example, can not be responsible for ensuring that they are not kidnapped or physically abused. Duty-bearers are responsible for teaching children about their rights, and for up-holding them. Children are responsible for RESPECTING their rights, and the rights of others.