A SPECIAL special school in South Lakeland is the first in the county to be presented with the Level 1 UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA).

The award recognises the achievement of Sandside Lodge, Ulverston, in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of the school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos.

The school has 80 pupils with special educational needs aged between two-and-a-half and 19.

Headteacher Susan Gill said “The children have been taking part in workshops, role play, lessons, and assemblies to learn all about key rights for example access to clean water.

"They particularly enjoyed a day when we pretended there had been a natural disaster at the school and spent the day investigating the issues around this.

“We’re very proud of our award, and pleased that all the hard work has paid off. This award will provide a clear link for pupils between understanding their rights and the need for children’s rights to be realised everywhere.”

Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said “I’m delighted that the school have received this award and would encourage other schools to look into it. It’s a very important life lesson that is being taught through some fun and innovative methods.”