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Sheffield school awarded Silver Rights Aware Award by UNICEF UK

Children with their teacher drawind during an art class

(6 December 2021) Phoenix School, the specialist education provider for young people with mental health needs at Cygnet Hospital Sheffield, has been officially recognised as a UNICEF UK Silver Rights Aware School.

The Rights Respecting Schools Award is an initiative run by UNICEF UK, recognising achievements in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice.

Assessors from UNICEF UK met virtually with students, staff and a school governor to discuss their awareness of their rights and how the school supported them in learning about their rights.

Phoenix School is among the first of its kind to achieve this award, paving the way for other schools in healthcare settings to integrate children’s rights into their planning and practice. 

Presenting the award, UNICEF UK said there had been a noticeable impact on young people’s positive attitude towards diversity stemming from learning around children’s rights.

The UNICEF report added: “Students were clear that they feel supported and respected while at the Phoenix School.”

Katy Edmondson, Head Teacher at Phoenix School, said: “We’re really proud of this achievement and are now working to embed our learning and prepare our action plan for working towards becoming a Gold Rights Respecting School.”

There are three tiered awards that schools can earn: the Bronze Rights Committed Award, the Silver Rights Aware Award and the Gold Rights Respecting Award. Phoenix School started its journey as a Rights Respecting School when it achieved Bronze status in September 2018. 

Run by Cygnet Health Care, Cygnet Hospital Sheffield offers Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for people aged 11-17, as well as a separate low secure service for women. All young people who are admitted to Cygnet Hospital Sheffield attend Phoenix School, and students study a range of national curriculum subjects through personalised learning and support.

Phoenix School is one of three specialist schools for young people admitted to CAMHS run by Cygnet Health Care, and is rated as Good by Ofsted.  

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