02 July 2024

Peterhead school awarded Gold for work around children’s rights

A Peterhead school has been awarded Gold by UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School programme for its work promoting and realising children’s rights.

Hatton (Cruden) School has been working with UNICEF UK since 2020 when it formed a steering group led by class teacher and Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) lead co-ordinator Natasha Clueit.

The group met regularly to promote knowledge of Children’s Rights and implement positive change across the school and wider community.

Hatton (Cruden) School received its Silver award in March 2022 and following a successful visit in April this year, has now been awarded Gold to mark its achievement - currently one of only eight schools in Aberdeenshire to hold the status.

Pupils and staff will be celebrating this achievement at a ‘Gold Party’ on the last day of term before the summer break.  

Natasha said: “It has been an honour and my pleasure to lead our school on our journey from Bronze to Silver and now to have achieved Gold.

“Being involved with UNICEF has transformed our pupils and staff’s perception and approaches with each other, sharing an understanding of Children’s Rights. I have loved seeing the children’s conversations change and working together across our community to implement change.

“It is a fantastic opportunity and experience for our pupils to have their voices heard and influence decisions, truly placing our pupils at the centre of decisions. This process has been a highlight of my career so far and I cannot wait to continue our progress.”

The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school.

Headteacher Stacey Beattie added: “Our entire school community is extremely proud to receive the Gold Award from UNICEF UK, as it has validated all the work that has been put into our journey towards a Rights Respecting School.

“Not only is this positive for the school community, the impact of the award on pupils means it is improving self-esteem, giving pupils a voice and developing respectful attitudes towards diversity in society which is giving them the tools to be global citizens.

“As a school we are excited to continue our rights respecting journey, putting children’s rights at the heart of the school.”

Gold is the highest accolade given by UNICEF UK and recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice.

UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools Programme Director, Martin Russell, said: “Hatton (Cruden) Primary very much impressed us with their strong focus on pupil participation, there are many different ways children can feed into decision making and leadership in the school.

“Children felt listened to, that their views matter and they could make a difference.  We’ve seen how pupils understand their rights and show respect for each other, show a strong desire to make a difference to the lives of children in their own school and in other countries around the world, and regularly speak out and support projects in their community and globally. 

“Hatton (Cruden) Primary has fully embraced the Convention on the Rights of the Child and we are very pleased to accredit the school with Gold: Rights Respecting.”