IMG_0457Harrow Way has now achieved the coveted Level 2 UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award! We are one of only 5 schools in the country to have achieved this level (the highest possible). This means the school places the United Nations Convention on the Rights on the Child (CRC) at the very heart of its ethos and practices. Human rights are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, gender, language, religion, opinions, wealth or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere. The Convention recognises the human rights of children, and it sets out in detail what every child needs to have for a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood.

The journey towards this began in 2008 and amongst the first steps was to democratically elect twenty Peer Educators from the current Year 10 at the time. They received training from a UNICEF representative on the Convention for the Rights of the Child and then moved on to train teachers and other students throughout the school. Every Year a new group of Peer Educators lead this initiative by teaching Year 7 about The Rights of the Child, taking assemblies and organising whole school days with The Rights of the Child as a focus.

Throughout 2008 and 2009 many events have taken place to support and move forward this initiative: Visits and talks given by Holocaust survivors; A Fashion Show, Workshops by various outside agencies including the NSPCC, Child line, Hampshire County Council Youth Service, Andover Rotary Club to name a few. Thanks to all the hard work of our students in June 2010 the School was awarded the Level 1 accreditation. Since then as a Rights Respecting School we have gone from strength to strength. Finally, in July this year the school underwent a rigorous assessment process by two representatives from UNICEF to ascertain whether we were now Level 2, the highest level achievable for this award. Throughout the day Students, Staff, Parents and Governors were interviewed, evidence examined and tours of the School undertaken.

One Year 10 student was quoted as saying: ‘Knowing about rights means you treat everybody fairly whether they go to Harrow Way or not. If we work on rights with younger people then it will eventually reflect on the whole town.’

Harrow Way School is extremely proud of this achievement, but in particular of our young people whose hard work and commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child made it all possible.