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14 Aug 2022

County Derry primary school receives prestigious UNICEF UK Gold Award

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights.

County Derry primary school receives prestigious UNICEF UK Gold Award

Ms Cathy Conway, Spires IPS teacher and leader of RRS, and RRS pupil committee.

Spires Integrated Primary school in Magherafelt has been awarded Gold by UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School programme.

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school.

Gold is the highest accolade given by UNICEF UK and shows a deep and thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life. Spires is one of only nine schools in Northern Ireland that have received Gold.

Vice Principal of Spires IPS, Mrs Jenny McKeown said: “We are immensely proud and happy to receive the Gold Award from UNICEF UK.

"The whole school community at Spires Integrated primary school have worked hard to develop and promote children’s rights in our teaching, learning and in all aspects of school life.

"Children’s rights are very much at the heart of our school. I want to thank all our wonderful pupils and staff who have shown great commitment to achieve this award recognition.”

The Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice.

A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. 

The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools initiative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting.

Currently, it works with nearly 5,000 primary schools, secondary schools, schools for children and young people with special educational needs and pupil referral units across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Schools have reported a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and well-being by enhancing pupils’ self-esteem, leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards.

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