Human Rights and Children

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4.1 (2) Summarise the laws and codes of practice affecting work in schools and explain how legislation affects how schools work.

The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child 1989 – in 1989 the world leaders decided children needed a special convention just for them to give them special care and protection that adults do not need. All children up to the age of 18 have the rights in the convention. Some groups of children eg those living away from home or disabled children have additional rights to make sure they are treated fairly and their needs are met. Every child in the UK is entitled to 40 specific rights, included in these are: the right to life, survival and development; to have their views respected; to have a name and nationality; freedom of expression, to live in a family environment or alternative care and have contact with parents wherever possible; to have health care and social security; to have an education, be able to take part in leisure, culture and arts; Special protection for refugee children, children in the juvenile justice system, deprived children and children suffering sexual, economic or other forms of exploitation. These rights apply to all children with no exceptions.

The Education Act 2002 – is an act to make provision about education, training and childcare. The act implements the legal requirements and commitments set out in the white paper Schools: Achieving success. It is intended to raise standards, promote innovation in schools and reform education law. It covers everything from schools being able to innovate and raise standards, schools joining together and forming companies, setting a flexible governance framework that allows greater discretion at local levels, allowing schools to be used as a resource within the community, separating out the budget making it clearer how funding is divided up and setting a minimum schools budget and also additional methods of funding available, providing frameworks for admission, exclusion and attendance, sets the school curriculum distinguishing between the key stages, enables schools to be more flexible with their staffing, develop partnerships with other agencies and give effective support within the classroom and it also sets out the statutory duty schools have with regards to the protection and involvement of children. Further measures are introduced to ensure weak and failing schools are turned around as quickly as possible. Children Act 2004 and 2006 – reforms the law relating to children making provisions about the services provided to and for children in need by local authorities and other persons providing a wider strategy for improving children’s lives, targeting those with additional needs. It makes provision about advisory and support services relating to family proceedings, to make provision about fostering, child minding and day care, adoption review panels, the defence of reasonable punishment, the making of grants as respects children and families, child safety orders, the publication of material relating to children involved in certain legal proceedings and disclosure of information relating to children. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 – if the establishment you work in is part of the public sector, the Freedom of Information Act means you must produce a publication scheme outlining the information that is routinely made available to the public eg minutes of meetings, annual reports or financial information. It also means official information must be disclosed when people ask for it (unless there is a good legal reason not to). Schools must produce a school profile and school prospectus containing the latest Ofsted report and current performance levels. The Human Rights Act 1998 – its aim is to give further effect in the UK to the rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights. The act applies to all public bodies within the UK, including the central government, local authorities and bodies exercising public...
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