Special schools and the Convention
Article 28: every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.
Restorative justice, positive behaviour management and peer mediation are just some of the ways that schools will be helping Article 28 to be realised for their pupils. Policies like the intimate care and behaviour management policies will reflect this too by showing how the child’s dignity is being respected.
Article 29: education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
Any of the ‘next steps’ that a child or young person has been given are examples of Article 29. These could be targets associated with learning, behaviour, home-school agreements or perhaps linked to achieving a particular physical activity. All of the different learning strategies being used in lessons are ways of helping children develop their potential to the full. Specific rights can be linked to parts of the curriculum- perhaps it’s an example from history like the denial of children’s rights during wartime or in the Victorian era; a global citizenship topic about fair trade; a particular story that links to rights; PSHE and health and well-being; a school event like anti-bullying week which focuses on the importance of respect and everyone having the right to be who they are or a celebration event for a particular religious festival.
Article 31: every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural activities.
There will be an endless list here of what a school is doing to help children access this right. All the specialist support and equipment provided for play, any designated areas within the school that are used for quiet times and reflection and of course all the events, activities and trips that take place both within and outside the school. Some of these may also link to other Articles of the UNCRC- for example, a ‘healthy eating’ day to Article 24, e safety week to Articles 16 & 17 and anti-bullying week to Articles 2 and 19.
UNCRC symbol card resource
The language of the Convention can be conveyed in words, pictures or symbolsThe Children's Commissioner's UNCRC symbol resource