The Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Eddy Newman recently attended the launch of Ashgate Specialist Support Primary School’s commitment to attain UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools award.
Ashgate is a school for children – aged between 4 and 11 – with severe learning disabilities.
The event – on Friday 24 November – included a presentation to parents and the local community explaining the school’s plans to become a Rights Respecting School.
The Rights Respecting School Award is given by UNICEF to schools which put the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of everything they do.
Human rights apply to all age groups and children have the same general human rights as adults but children have needs that are specific to them and their development.
The CRC is a global commitment to the principles of children’s rights and is designed to incorporate the full range of human rights—including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
It sets out the rights – stated in 54 Articles – that must be realized for children to have their voices heard and develop to their full potential,
The school will work to show parents, pupils and members of the local community what they can do to find out more about children’s rights and explain how they can support the initiative, which is believed will improve the quality of life for children and their families.
Of particular significance to the school is Article 23 which states: “A child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and independence, and to play an active part in the community…”
In promoting Article 23 the school hopes to work with retailers and the local community to improve understanding of the needs of children with disabilities and to explore new ways they can provide welcome support.
Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Eddy Newman, said: “Manchester is a welcoming and inclusive city that champions the rights of its citizens, including children and those with disabilities. Ashgate’s commitment to becoming a Rights Respecting School is to be commended and will strengthen the voices of its pupils and help further nurture their talents. It’s important to recognise the rights of children and those with disabilities and it’s vital that we do everything we can to ensure their fundamental rights are respected and valued in just the same way as everyone else’s.”
Diane Wolstenholme, Head Teacher at Ashgate Specialist Support Primary School, said: “Ashgate Special School is proud to be working with the local community to raise awareness of Children’s Rights and make changes to improve their lives and those of their families. It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to recognise and show appreciation to those local services and business whose practice already reflects the ethos of Article 23. We look forward to encouraging and supporting others to do the same.”
A summary of the rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child can be viewed online at:https://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf