Engaging with local schools

Upton St. James Primary School win Gold!

Upton St. James C of E Primary School is celebrating two national achievements this month.

The school is the first in Devon to receive a gold award from Unicef UK’s Rights Respecting Schools programme.

And their second achievement is for being amongst the top 2% of schools in England after receiving a letter from the Department for Education congratulating them on ‘the very high level of progress that pupils in your school have made in their reading, writing and mathematics’.

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights and the Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights.

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. Kevin Foster MP awarded the Gold certificate to mark the school’s achievement at an event at Upton St. James on 20 April.

There are over 400 schools across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that have received Gold but Upton is the first school in Torbay, Devon or Plymouth to receive it.

Headteacher, Claire Prynn said: “We are all absolutely delighted to achieve the Gold award and to be recognised by the Department of Education for our progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

“Children and staff have worked hard to ensure the school community recognise and realise the rights of all children, and to make sure the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child lies at the heart of learning and teaching within Upton St James.

“The rights respecting approach has helped us to develop a school ethos whereby children participate more actively in decisions surrounding them. They have more access to information on how to feel safe and have their talents encouraged and developed to the full, whilst also recognising and respecting the rights of others.

“We now want to continue to build on these successes and ensure that children in the UK and globally enjoy their rights.”

Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools Programme Director, Frances Bestley, said: "Upton St James Primary School has very much impressed us with the way in which children learn in an environment that encourages and empowers them to make a difference both at home and around the world.

“The school has fully embraced the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and we are honoured to accredit Upton with Gold."


Through the Rights Respecting Schools Programme, UNICEF works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive.