Latest figures show majority of Cardiff’s schools are recognised as rights respecting

Latest figures show majority of Cardiff’s schools are recognised as rights respecting


The majority of Cardiff schools are now signed up to theUK Committee for UNICEFUK Right’s Respecting Schools Award (RRSA), meaning Cardiff’s engagement in the Children’s Rights programme, remains the highest in Wales.

The RRSA programme recognises a school which puts child rights into practice, creating a safe and inspiring place to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured, and they are able to thrive.

Some highlights include;

  • 83% of Cardiff’s Local Authority schools have registered for the RRSA programme.
  • 66% of Cardiff schools have an RRSA action plan in place having received their Bronze, Silver or Gold award. 
  • 54% of all pupils from nursery to high school, attend a school with Bronze or above

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “It is promising to see that 85 Cardiff schools have achieved their Bronze award or above and are embedding children’s rights in their daily school life.

“UNICEF UK have recognised Cardiff’s efforts in establishing a child rights-based approach to education across the city and by accelerating the growth of the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) we are establishing a firm child rights knowledge base and network in the city’s schools.”

Roath Park Primary School are one of the several schools to have been awarded the Gold RRSA. Reflecting on the success, Headteacher Lewis Fitzgerald said: “We are incredibly proud to have been awarded a UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Gold Award. This shows our commitment to promoting and realising children’s’ rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school.

“Gold is the highest accolade given by UNICEF UK and shows a deep and thorough commitment to children’s’ rights across all aspects of school life.”


On World Children’s Day in November 2018, Cardiff launched its Child Friendly Strategy, placing the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of the city’s policies, strategies and services.

The detailed multi-agency delivery plan aims to involve children and young people in decision making and address the barriers which limit their life chances. It also supports the Council in making significant step towards Cardiff’s aim of being internationally recognised as one of the UK’s first UNICEF UK Child Friendly Cities, an ambitious programme that sees councillors, council staff and local organisations working to ensure that children and young people help shape and guide decisions which affect them.

The programme provides support to Local Authorities and partners to deliver a child rights-based approach when designing, delivering, monitoring and evaluating local services and strategies for children.

Cllr Sarah Merry added: “Within its progress report, UNICEF UK recognised the pioneering role that Cardiff Council has played in establishing the Child Friendly City Programme and stated that there is clear evidence that significant progress has been made in establishing, prioritising and implementing a child rights-based approach in the Council’s culture and commitments.

“We are moving significantly closer to realising Cardiff’s ambition of being recognised as a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City, assisted by the invaluable support from our schools. The RRSA programme helps to give children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible active citizens who will go on to contribute to the rights respecting culture that we aim to accomplish.”

Frances Bestley, Programme Director for the Rights Respecting Schools Award said:”The centralised model of providing all Cardiff schools with access to RRSA support and accreditation, has seen record numbers of schools engage with the programme and by making training and support accessible to all, has enabled schools to make faster progress than would typically be seen. We are delighted that this is now being taken to the next level through Cardiff’s support for all the City’s schools to access full RRSA membership.

“The commitment that Cardiff’s Child Friendly team has shown towards the RRSA has enabled schools toput the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC) at the heart of their practice. Accreditation visits have shown strong evidence of improved wellbeing, increased confidence and engagement in learning and a greater sense of empowerment among children and young people to become active citizens in their school and beyond.”

Cardiff is the first Local authority in England and Wales to fund full RRSA access for all their schools. UNICEF UK have noted that they are confident that this will further accelerate school’s progress and enable many more children and young people to know about their rights, live and learn through rights and take action for the rights of other locally and globally

Cardiff Council’s sustained commitment to RRSA with the UK committee for UNICEF, is embedding theprinciples of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation across the City’s school aligning their work line seamlessly with new guidance around Human Rights in the Curriculum for Wales 2022.

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights.

TheUNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schoolsinitiative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting.

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