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Highcrest Academy, in High Wycombe 'first in Bucks' to win Unicef gold


Highcrest Academy, in High Wycombe 'first in Bucks' to win Unicef gold


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The Highcrest Academy became one of only a select number of secondary schools in the entire country to achieve gold level in the United Nations charity Unicef’s Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA).

Outstanding schools surrounding the Abbey Place High Wycombe Development
Gold award - Emma Bowden of Highcrest with students

The award is given to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school.


Gold is the highest accolade given by Unicef UK which says the award shows a “deep and thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life”.


Two inspectors visited Highcrest earlier this term and gave it a glowing report, labelling it “an inclusive and supportive learning community where respect plays an integral part and rights are actively promoted and upheld”.


The report added: “Young people’s views are actively sought, respectfully listened to and taken seriously.”


The Unicef inspectors said Highcrest showed a “strategic commitment to the principles and values of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”.


In their summary, the inspectors said: “The academy has come a long way since 2001 when it was a ‘Fresh Start’ school where the numbers of students for whom it was the first choice was in single figures. Highcrest has changed radically since then.


“It is now the only all-ability academy in Buckinghamshire.”


Emma Bowden, vice principal at Highcrest, said: “I am very proud of the whole community coming together to achieve this award.


“This is about having an understanding that every child around the globe has rights.


“The inspectors talked to staff across all areas of the school and to 20 per cent of the students to check that we were on track.


“The school community has worked hard over a number of years to embed children’s rights into everything we do and the award is recognition of this.”


And principal Glen Burke added: “It’s a real honour to have achieved this.


“Looking on the Unicef website, only a relatively small number of other secondary schools in the country are named as having won this, so we are thrilled to join this illustrious list.”


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By Shruti Sheth Trivedi @Shruti_BFP

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