More schools in Cardiff join Children's Rights campaign, than anywhere else in Wales: World Children's Day 2021


A record number of schools have signed up tothe UK Committee for UNICEFRight's Respecting Schools Award (RRSA),making Cardiff's engagement in the Children's Rights Campaign, the highest in Wales.

The RRSA programme recognises a school which puts child rights into practice, creating a safe and inspiring place to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured, and they are able to thrive.

The latest tally of Cardiff's Rights Respecting Schools coincided with World Children's Day (20
November),UNICEF's annual day of action for children, by children.

Headline figures include:

  • 75% (95) ofCardiff'sLocal Authorityschools have registered for the RRSA programme.
  • 59% (75) of these schools have anRRSA action plan in place having received their bronze, silver or gold award.
  • 46% of all pupils from nursery to high school, attend a school with Bronze or above.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "I am delighted that more than half of our schools have achieved their bronze award or above, demonstrating their commitment to becoming a rights respecting school where children's rights are embedded in their daily school life as well as at the heart of the wider school community.

"Further supporting Cardiff's ambition to becoming an official UNICEF UK Child Friendly City, the RRSA programme helps to give children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible active citizens who will go on to contribute to the rights respecting culture that we aim to accomplish."

On World Children's Day in November 2018, Cardiff launched its Child Friendly Strategy, placing the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of the city's policies, strategies and services.

The detailed multi-agency delivery plan aimed to involve children and young people in decision making and address the barriers which limit their life chances. It also marked a significant step towards Cardiff's aim of being internationally recognised as one of the UK's first UNICEF UK Child Friendly City's, a global programme collaborating UNICEF with local government to put children's rights first.

The programme provides support to Local Authorities and partners to deliver a child rights-based approach when designing, delivering, monitoring and evaluating local services and strategies for children.

During the two-year implementation phase, Cardiff set out five goals and a series of commitments to be delivered through the Child Friendly City Strategy;

  • Every Child and Young person is valued, respected and treated fairly
  • Every Child and Young Person has their voice, needs and priorities heard and taken into account
  • All children and young people grow up in a safe and supportive home
  • All Children and Young people access high quality education that promotes their rights and helps them develop their skills and talents to the full
  • Children and Young people have good physical, mental and emotional health and know how to stay healthy

Cllr Sarah Merry added: "Last year, a progress report from UNICEF UK recognised the pioneering role that Cardiff Council has played in establishing the Child Friendly City Programme and stated that there is clear evidence that significant progress has been made in establishing, prioritising and implementing a child rights-based approach in the Council's culture and commitments.

"They also recognised Cardiff's efforts in establishing a child rights-based approach to education across the city, accelerating the growth of the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) establishing a firm child rights knowledge base and network in the city's schools."

Naomi Danquah, Director of Child Friendly Cities and Communitiesat the UK Committee forUNICEF (UNICEF UK), said:"Every child has the right to grow up in an environment where they feel safe to play, learn and grow. A place where they have access to public services and where their voice is heard and matters. We're working with Cardiff to help them fulfil these rights for all children and make Cardiff a ‘child-friendly' city."

"Despite the challenges of the last 18 months, Cardiff's recognition of the importanceof children and young people across the city knowing and learning about their rights through the Rights Respecting Schools award is highly commendable."

"This is a huge milestone in the city's journey towards recognition as a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City and we're excited to see what comes next."

The Child Friendly City programme operates across a wide range of services and organisations, taking a child rights approach to developing a series of new services including Family Help and Support Services, Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services, youth provision for care experienced young people, additional play opportunities. It also promotes child rights training amongst local politicians, police, health workers and Council officers.

#WorldChildren'sDay #ChildFriendlyCDF #EduCardiff