Janvrin School, in St Helier, has gained a silver accreditation, the second out of three, as part of the United Nations Rights Respecting Schools Programme, making it the third Island school to reach this level.
Each level is gained by working through objectives including being able to show evidence of learning and teamwork through changes in school policy and pupils’ work. Before this, the school, which has 300 pupils, gained a bronze accreditation and will soon start work towards the final gold level.
The programme, which is run by UNICEF, works to ensure children are respected, have a voice, know that they have rights, what those rights are, and what to do when their rights are not upheld.
It was introduced in Jersey by Deborah McMillan, the Children’s Commissioner, earlier this year and so far 17 schools have signed up with three primary schools – Grouville, Mont Nicolle and St Luke’s – already working towards gold.
Mrs McMillan said: ‘I am delighted that Janvrin has achieved their silver award. It’s a significant achievement and one that will benefit not only their students but also the wider community.
‘Supporting children in understanding their rights is the first step towards ensuring these rights are realised.
‘In light of the Jersey Care Commission’s report published earlier this month and the pledge made by States Members, I feel that the value of this programme should not be underestimated.
‘The Rights Respecting Schools Programme empowers children, supporting them in understanding their rights and encouraging them to speak out when these rights are not being upheld. We have a unique opportunity in Jersey to reach all children, whatever their circumstances, and we must ensure we do. Seventeen schools have already signed up and I hope that this number will continue to rise.’
Elaine George, the rights respecting schools lead at Janvrin School, said: ‘The children, staff and families at Janvrin School are extremely proud of this achievement.
‘The silver award is a reflection of how well the children and staff have integrated children’s rights into our school life and beyond, alongside an understanding of how these need to be respected throughout life.
‘We look forward to embedding and developing the work we have started at Janvrin and work towards achieving the gold award.’