What is

sustaining gold?

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Sustaining Gold is what happens after your Gold accreditation. We want to encourage you to sustain and maintain your child rights practice.

Achieving Gold is a great moment for a school community; it’s the point at which you really become a Rights Respecting School. From this point forward, schools are expected to maintain all the things you do about rights, through rights and for rights and we want you to sustain your commitment to being a rights based community.

We are not asking for you to do more than you did to achieve Gold, simply to keep the commitment going, to refresh and revisit, to bring new adults and pupils on board and to keep the Convention at the heart of all you do as a school. Have a look at our Ideas to Sustain your Gold Practice page.

Your Gold status lasts for three years at which point we expect you to be reaccredited.

Being reaccredited at Gold: Rights Respecting means there is evidence that your school continues to meet the RRSA Strands and Outcomes at Gold. We will see that:

  • Your school continues to explicitly adopt a child rights approach based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and sustainably embeds it in school policy, practice and culture.
  • Children’s, young people’s and adults’ level of understanding of rights remains high, and there are processes in place to ensure new members of your school community have this understanding as well. Rights Respecting attitudes and language are still embedded across the school.
  • The RRSA continues to have a positive impact on children and young people’s learning and wellbeing in a sustainable way.
  • Pupils continue to see themselves as Rights Respecting global citizens and advocate for social justice and children’s rights at home and abroad.
  • Children and young people continue to play a leading role in driving progress through your RRSA Steering Group (or equivalent).

To be reaccredited at Gold, we expect you to still focus on the same three RRSA Strands:

  1. Teaching and Learning about rights
  2. Teaching and Learning through rights
  3. Being ambassadors for the rights of others

Assuming that your school has sustained the standard for Gold: Rights Respecting, we will make the accreditation process slightly less onerous and give you a little more flexibility. We would particularly like you to highlight practice that you are especially proud of – it may be something new you have done, an engagement with UNICEF UK or a school improvement project that shows your ongoing commitment to RRSA.

In some situations, for example where practice may have lapsed over time or where a number of relevant staffing changes have occurred, it may well be appropriate to repeat the standard Gold Accreditation process. Please discuss such scenarios with your regional RRSA Professional Adviser.

Do you ever take an Award away?

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

If a Rights Respecting School experiences an event or circumstance that puts 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.