UNICEF's Rights Respecting Schools Award encourages schools to use the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as the basis for enhancing teaching, learning, ethos, attitudes and behaviour. The scheme started in 2004 and is running in more than 4,000 primary and secondary schools in the UK.
Many schools have reported a decrease in bullying, an improvement in achievement and participation; a positive effect on attitudes and global awareness; and a more inclusive, caring school atmosphere. A Rights Respecting School doesn't just teach about children’s and human rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships, whether between pupils and teachers, or between pupils.
The award is open to all schools: nursery, primary, middle, secondary and special, and is complementary to the Healthy Schools Award and Eco Schools
. The UNICEF website gives an overview of the award and has downloadable background information and case studies. There are also links to local UNICEF education officers who can provide more information on the award, as well as links to UNICEF's in-service training programme and other educational resources.