Loudoun Academy earn first Rights Respecting Schools Gold Award
Loudoun Academy has received a Rights Respecting School Gold Award from unicef UK in a first for East Ayrshire.
Child rights professionals visited the school recently to assess their progression towards the Gold Award and were impressed by how children’s rights had become embedded in school life.
In a detailed report, the assessors highlighted Loudoun’s key strengths:
• relationships are considered to be exceptional by all stakeholders and there is an evident pride in the welcoming atmosphere of the school community • the strong sense of ownerships demonstrated by pupils, with a clear belief in their ability to influence decisions within the school • the school has a nurturing ethos, where every effort is made to ensure all are included, valued and celebrated.
The assessors interviewed hundreds of pupils, staff, parents and carers. Pupils spoke confidently about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). They explained that the school had introduced rights assemblies and that through daily bulletins, PSE classes and lessons across the curriculum they had a strong knowledge of children’s rights.
One pupil said: “All children have the same rights, all over the world, but not everyone gets them. Things like war, natural disasters, homelessness and poverty can stand in the way. Poverty impacts on rights and that can affect you here in this country also.”
While a parent said: “The ethos in the school has totally changed since I came here, you can tell that everyone is valued. It’s good to know that my child is safe and nurtured here.”
Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning visited Head Teacher Scott Robertson, his team and pupils to congratulate them on their award. She said:
“The assessors highlighted that our pupils are confident, knowledgeable and polite reflecting the positive and respectful relationships between children and adults at Loudoun Academy. I couldn’t support this view more, every visit to Loudoun is an excellent experience and you come away enthused by what you have seen.
“I was particularly interested in the restorative approach Scott and his team have taken to their behaviour policy. The focus has moved from merits, demerits or punishment exercises to an approach that focuses on making people think rather than just punishing. The young people are responding really well to this approach.
“The involvement of pupils in every aspect of school life is one of Loudoun Academy’s real strength. Scott can testify to this, as young people were involved in his selection. Young people feel empowered and this reflects positively on their behaviour, their sense of pride in their school, their confidence and self-esteem.”