Pupils and staff from schools across Monmouthshire were joined by Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, at a Super Ambassadors’ conference to highlight the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The event, hosted by the council’s Healthy School Team, was held at The Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel, Usk on Tuesday 27th March.

Pupils elect Super Ambassadors at the beginning of every year to carry out three duties.  These are to inform other pupils about the Commissioner and her powers, ensure other pupils know about children’s rights under the UNCRC and carry out special missions for the Commissioner in their school.

The scheme has been championed by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales to promote children’s rights and the UNCRC in primary and secondary schools.  It aims to encourage pupils and their teachers to think about what rights are important.  The scheme provides inspiring ideas to embed rights at school, home and with public organisations such as local authority departments working with children and young people.

In attendance were professionals working with and supporting children and young people from across Monmouthshire.  These included head teachers, Sports Development workers, youth workers, governors, and Flying Start teams who participated in engaging workshops as well as listening to a stirring speech from Sally Holland.  The Commissioner said that the UNCRC should be linked to policies to protect and provide education for children and young people both at local government and national government level.

Caldicot School Student Ambassadors Molly, Hannah and Macey made an inspiring presentation and the Year 10 pupils talked enthusiastically about their campaign to embed the rights of the child into day to day school life and within the local community. They related how the UNCRC Charter was introduced to pupils during Anti-Bullying Week 2017.  All pupils from Year 7 to Year 13 were asked which of the 42 Articles in the UNCRC Charter were most important to them and their feedback was used to design a Personal Rights Charter for Caldicot.

Year 6 pupils from Archbishop Rowan Williams Primary School enthused teachers about the work they have undertaken to promote children’s rights in their school.

Discussions took place at the end of the day as primary school pupils planned how they would get the message across to their peers.  Pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary in Chepstow said they would volunteer to become Super Ambassadors and within a month they would arrange and present an assembly on what they had learnt and invite the school’s governors. They hoped to organise lots of activities to raise awareness of rights.

Cabinet member for Children and Young People Cllr Richard John said: ‘We strive to put children and young people at the heart of everything we do.  The adoption of the Super Ambassadors’ Scheme in Monmouthshire will embed children’s rights in our schools and will encourage our young people to recognise the importance of the rights to have their voices heard, to play and to be safe.’

For more information visit www.childcomwales.org.uk