Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services in the Welsh Government, visited Gwyrosydd Primary School on 17 November.

Gwyrosydd Primary is a large primary school for 3-11 year olds situated in the village of Treboeth in Swansea. The school registered to work towards becoming rights-respecting in summer 2009 and attained the full Level 2 award in 2011.

The visit took place shortly before the United Nation’s day for children: Universal Children’s Day devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the welfare of the world’s children. It also coincided with the Welsh Government taking forward important legislation to ensure strong implementation of the CRC.

Gwenda Thomas said: I am delighted to be at Gwyrosydd Primary today meeting and speaking with the children and teachers who make the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child part of their school ethos. Placing children’s rights at the heart of everyday life is good for the child, the family and the surrounding community and very much reflects the culture of the Welsh Government. 

On Sunday the 20th of November the world celebrates Universal Children’s Day and I am proud that we are contributing positively towards the rights of children in Wales.

Gwyrosydd Primary’s headteacher Jonathan Atter said: Our RRSA journey has already had a significant impact not only on individuals but on Gwyrosydd School as a whole. The children are fully aware that they have rights and that we work in partnership to ensure children’s rights bring about positive outcomes.

Staff are very aware of the CRC and continue to build on their knowledge and expertise as they incorporate the articles into their every day teaching and every day school life.

Alison Marshal, Public Affairs Director at UNICEF UK said: Rights Respecting Schools place the Convention at the heart of school life and have been shown to improve attendance, reduce bullying and develop more tolerant students. Today’s visit by the Deputy Minister once again shows the strong commitment of the Welsh Government to children and UNICEF UK looks forward to working closely with the Government to place children’s rights at the heart of Welsh life.

Wales is leading the way on children’s rights and we hope the rest of the UK will follow their lead.

UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) aims to help schools put the principles and values of the Convention at the heart of their culture and ethos to improve well-being and develop every child’s talents and abilities to their fullest potential. Today over 2500 primary and secondary schools across the UK are registered for the initiative, 111 of which are in Wales.

Gwenda Thomas with children at Gwyrosydd Primary School in Swansea © UNICEF UK Education / 2011
Gwenda Thomas with children at Gwyrosydd Primary School in Swansea© UNICEF UK Education / 2011