UNICEF is the world's leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted 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 and shows a deep and thorough commitment to children's rights at all levels of school life. There are over 600 schools across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that have received Gold.
The school has been working with UNICEF UK since 2012, achieving their Bronze award in 2013 and Silver in 2019. Pupils and staff were joined by Executive councillor for education David Dodds to mark the fantastic achievement.
Headteacher of Inveralmond Community High School Suzanne Young said: "We are absolutely delighted to be the first secondary in West Lothian to receive the Gold Award from UNICEF UK.
"Our whole school community has worked hard to ensure that children's rights are embedded across the school and underpin every facet of school life.
"Thanks to all the staff, pupils, parents/carers and wider school community for all their support to make this happen."
West Lothian's Executive councillor for education David Dodds added: "Congratulations to everyone at Inveralmond on this prestigious UNICEF Gold award.
"To become the first secondary in West Lothian to achieve this is a fantastic achievement, and demonstrates the commitment by everyone at Inveralmond to put the rights of young people at the heart of everything they do."
The Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school's planning, policies and practice. A Rights Respecting School is a community where children's rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.
UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools Programme Director, Frances Bestley, said: "Children at Inveralmond understand and are strongly committed to children's rights. They are listened to, participate fully in school life and have a strong understanding of the wider world. It is clear that the school's Rights Respecting work has created positive and empowering learning environment for all and we are very pleased to award them Gold: Rights Respecting."
The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools initiative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting. Currently, it works with nearly 5,000 primary schools, secondary schools, schools for children and young people with special educational needs and pupil referral units across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Schools have reported a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and well-being by enhancing pupils' self-esteem, leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards.