Rights Respecting School Council
Children’s rights are at the heart of Summerhill’s culture and we are proud to be a UNICEF's Rights Respecting Schools Level 1 school (October 2016). As a school we aim to instil a desire within everyone at Summerhill, both children and adults, to develop relationships modelled on rights and respect. This journey begins at Summerhill but we aim for our children embrace this ethos in both their local and global communities and develop into lifelong rights respecting global citizens.
Our Rights Respecting Schools Level 1 assessment report is available to read at the bottom of this page.
The School Rights Respecting Council meets at 8.30 every other Thursday morning where all Rights Respecting Schools business is discussed. The children are the voice of Summerhill. Our Children help plan meetings, take minutes and then the information is then shared with their classes. Over the last couple of years we have made links with our local MP Bill Esterson, meeting with him in school and on trips to parliament. Our Rights Respecting Council had the chance to ask Bill Esterson some questions about education and issues concerning young people when he visited in our school in April 2017. We have also made links with the University of Liverpool and their Children's Rights Unit which has even led to some of children giving a presentation on children's rights at the university and then on a separate occasion being invited back to meet with MP Baroness Massey!
We are currently working towards achieving our Level 2 Rights Respecting School Award (RSSA). This involves placing Unicef’s Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC) at the centre of everything the schools does, from policy making to planning. The CRC sets out the human rights for everyone under the age of 18 and recognises that all children have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. The CRC states what countries must do to ensure that all children have access to their rights. Through the CRC, Summerhill aims to encourage children become respectful global citizens. To read a summary of the CRC please follow the link below.
The Convention is a very important document because it recognises that all children have the right to be treated with dignity and fairness, to be protected, to develop to their full potential and to participate. It also lays out what countries must do to ensure that all children can enjoy their rights, regardless of who they are, or where they are from.
The Rights Respecting Schools Award focuses on children’s rights in schools and takes a whole-school approach to child rights and human rights education. Child Rights Education (CRE) can be defined as learning about rights, learning through rights and learning for rights within an overall context of education as a right. It aims to build the capacity of children as rights-holders to claim their rights and the capacity of adults as duty-bearers to fulﬁl their obligations. Child rights education helps adults and children to work together, providing the space and encouragement for the meaningful participation and sustained civic engagement of children.
Rights and Responsibilities are at the heart of the school’s ethos and culture. We aim for outstanding relationships between everyone at the school. We listen, care and look to make a difference to people’s lives.
A Rights Respecting School not only teaches about children’s rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships: between teachers, adults and students, between adults and between students. (Unicef 2012).