Apologies for combining two weekly blogs into one.  Apologies too for this being a relatively short blog but one with a fairly significant attachment which I hope you will take time to read through.

We have had confirmation from UNICEF UK that we have gained the Gold Rights Respecting Schools Award.  Indeed we are only the second school in the UK to be assessed against the new Gold criteria – the first being Ferryhill Primary around a month ago.  We are therefore the first, and at present the only, secondary school in the UK to have been successfully assessed against the new criteria for the Gold Award.

I have attached a copy of the report and I do hope you will take time to read through it.  Over the next year we will continue to take this work forward.  It is vitally important as we all need to work hard to ensure children can benefit from their rights to; survival, protection, development and participation.

We want our children to feel safe in school, safe at home and safe in their community.   We want them to be the best they can be and to play a full and active part in their community.

Gaining the award will not make this happen.  But the framework for the award helps us to focus on how children (rights holders) behave towards each other and how they are supported by adults (duty bearers).  As a school community we need to use the award to do even more to help children to recognise where they are being denied their rights – often by other children.  We need to use the award to further empower children to act in ways which will improve their environment, their health, their learning and their safety.

We want to continue to lead in this work as it is fundamental to improving our school and improving the life chances of the young people who attend Harlaw Academy.

I want to thank everyone who worked on helping us gain the award and I look forward to working with everyone as we take this work forward.  Our new logo and our report are attached below:

Harlaw Ac Aberdeen Cty Gold MJMRe Feb 18 MR