OFSTED have cited the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) as having a positive influence on school ethos, pupil empowerment and safety in a recent report on Safeguarding in schools. The report illustrates and evaluates the features of best practice in safeguarding, based on inspection evidence from schools inspected between September 2009 and July 2010 where safeguarding had been judged outstanding.
Schools regarded as “outstanding” in terms of safeguarding, are portrayed as having a “culture of care,” in which “pupils are tolerant and respectful of each other and accept individual differences. In these outstanding schools pupils “feel secure and well protected, a feature reflected in positive attitudes to their school”.
The report authors stated that:
Two of the schools visited had successfully achieved the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. This had a positive effect on their ethos and on pupils’ sense of ownership and responsibility for themselves, the environment and other people. They had successfully promoted empowerment of pupils and contributed exceptionally well to their safety. (Paragraph 64, page 20)
Lessons at Turton High School Media Arts College in Bolton which is, a Level 2 Rights Respecting school, are described as frequently incorporating approaches which encourage respect and cooperation between pupils. Consequently pupils awareness of well-being, safety and of individual behaviour, has led to the identification of safeguarding as “outstanding” at the school.
Turton was also commended for taking steps to help students to recognise signs of mental or emotional stress and to feel able to seek support. Students had been involved in creating a website offering information and advice about mental health issues.