Six schools from across Belfast will take part in UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools Award, benefiting from a £9,000 legacy donated for the children of Belfast.

The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) recognises schools that have put the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of their planning, policies, practice and ethos.

UNICEF presented the legacy cheque to the Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB), who will administer the scheme in the city. The six schools in Belfast that will pilot the award will be announced at the start of the school term in September.

The board is delighted to accept this legacy from UNICEF on behalf of the young people of Belfast, said Belfast Education and Library Board Chief Executive David Cargo.

Working towards the Rights Respecting Schools Award provides an effective way of supporting schools who want to inspire their children and young people to make informed choices and become confident, active citizens.

"Schools must also be able to show how they will maintain these rights-based values and principles. A Rights Respecting School not only teaches about child rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships, between teachers/adults and pupils, between adults, and between pupils," said David McGimpsey, UNICEF’s Northern Ireland Education Officer.

"For children and young people, knowing that they have the right to be heard in decisions that affect them boosts not only their sense of security but also their self-confidence. This opens the way to developing and applying the skills, language and concepts that allow them to realize their rights and to advocate for the rights of children everywhere."

Margaret and Ian Binnie of UNICEF Coleraine Branch present David Cargo with the cheque. © UNICEF UK Education
Margaret and Ian Binnie of UNICEF Coleraine Branch present David Cargo with the cheque. Also pictured are Bridget Murray and Carol Weatherall (BELB) and David McGimpsey (UNICEF). © UNICEF UK Education