Gold: Rights Respecting FAQs

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You can find our frequently asked questions below. If you have any further questions, take a look at our downloadable Gold Checklist, or email the Central Team at rrsa@unicef.org.uk.

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How long does it take to achieve Gold: Rights Respecting?

Schools tend to take between one to three years from achieving Silver: Rights Aware, but it depends on each school’s circumstances.

What do I do to ensure staff have the right key messages and feel confident to teach about the Convention?

You can use the guidance documents on this website, attend RRSA training courses that we run across the country or invite a RRSA trainer to your school to run staff training.

We also have excellent resources to support teaching, and you can use our Teaching and Learning Toolbox to help you.

Is there an accreditation visit for Gold: Rights Respecting? What is the cost of this?

Yes. Usually two Unicef UK RRSA assessors will visit your school to gather evidence and make a judgment about whether the school has met the criteria across all three RRSA Strands. The cost of the Gold: Rights Respecting accreditation visit varies according to the size of your school. Find out more about the costs of the RRSA. However, we want all interested schools to be able to continue their rights respecting journey so please contact us at rrsa@unicef.org.uk if the fees cause any difficulties. Occasionally we receive funding from our corporate partners to help schools participate in the RRSA.

What happens when I think my school is ready to be accredited at Gold: Rights Respecting?

Have a look at our Gold checklist to check that you are ready. When you have completed all of the actions, send through your documents to your Professional Adviser and arrange to book a date. Find out who your Professional Adviser is here.

What happens on the Gold: Rights Respecting accreditation visit?

Please see the suggested accreditation visit programme for the day, outlining what happens on the accreditation visit. You will be invited to adapt the programme to suit your school day. Find out more about the Gold: Rights Respecting accreditation visit.

What happens if I’m not successful on my Gold accreditation visit?

At the end of a Gold accreditation visit, we cannot tell you the decision about whether your school has achieved Gold: Rights Respecting because it has to be approved by the RRSA Accreditation and Standards Committee (ASC). The evidence that the RRSA assessors gather on the accreditation visit is based on the expected outcomes at Gold, and is presented to the ASC in a report.

If, at the end of the Gold accreditation visit, the RRSA assessor(s) feel that there is still a bit more work to do to meet the RRSA Strands and Outcomes at Gold, they will discuss with you whether you should be reaccredited at Silver: Rights Aware, or if you’d like us to visit you at a later date so that you can continue working towards Gold: Rights Respecting. The next accreditation visit will be free of charge.

If the RRSA assessor(s) write and submit a report to the ASC, and the ASC do not feel that there is enough evidence to meet the RRSA Strands and Outcomes at Gold, your Professional Adviser will contact you to discuss the feedback. You can then arrange a follow up accreditation visit so that you can continue working towards Gold: Rights Respecting. This accreditation visit will be free of charge and should take place within the next six months.

How long is the Gold: Rights Respecting accreditation valid for?

The Gold: Rights Respecting accreditation (and the Silver: Rights Aware accreditation) is valid for three years.

What happens when we’ve had the Gold: Rights Respecting accreditation for 3 years?

You can be reaccredited at Gold: Rights Respecting to retain the Award. Read about reaccreditation.

Do you ever take an award away?

The Rights Respecting Schools Award is based on nationally agreed standards and uses a system of assessment (as explained above) that looks at all aspects of the school’s life and work. Similarly to other inspection processes the accreditation is made on the evidence seen during the assessment visit. Individual situations and experiences outside the assessment process cannot, on their own, determine the school’s accreditation as Rights Respecting but we do take concerns seriously.   

Ia Rights Respecting school experiences an event or circumstances that put it at odds with its Rights Respecting status (at either Silver or Gold) the Programme Director may ask that the school be reaccredited sooner than the three-year life of the award. This would be done to support the school at a difficult time and, out of respect to all our other schools, to maintain the consistency and status of the RRSA.  In exceptional circumstances we reserve the right to suspend an award.   

This approach has been approved by our Schools Accreditation and Standards Committee and this is made clear to schools at the time they are awarded Silver or Gold.