Schools Go for GoldPublished Tuesday, 8th July 2014
Children, parents and staff from schools across the borough recently took part in a Rotherham Charter Gold celebration event at the New York Stadium.
The Rotherham Charter celebrates genuine partnership working with parents, carers, children and young people, adults and families.
The Charter is about building trust with parents and children and starts with a promise to commit to four Charter principles: Welcome and Care; Value and Include; Communicate; and Work in Partnership.
Harthill Primary, Meadow View Primary, Sitwell Infant, St. Gerard’s Primary, Thurcroft Infant and Wales Primary schools each received a certificate at the special celebration event.
Harthill Primary School’s Teaching Assistant and Charter Champion Maralyn Reaney said: "The whole event was so special for everyone involved and it certainly reflected the value and importance we all put on gaining Charter Gold. Our children and parents were proud and enjoyed being part of the celebration day."
To be accredited with Charter Gold the school needs to demonstrate they have extended their practice and that they genuinely fulfil the Charter principles.
The two-year process includes gathering feedback from children and parents and having an action plan. The school needs to show that it reaches out in creative ways to genuinely involve all children and families and that their feedback is used to inform policies and practice.
The Charter process is being followed enthusiastically in a growing number of schools within Rotherham and the recent inspirational celebration was for the first six schools who have now achieved Charter Gold.
DVDs were also shown celebrating each school’s achievements according to the four Charter principals.
Charter Implementation Team Claire Whiting said: "The DVDs included quotes from parents and children about their experiences in the schools and gave a really powerful message about how trust can be developed between staff, children and families and what a difference this can make.
"The culmination of four years hard partnership working and commitment resulted in a wonderful Charter Gold celebration event. Today was a massive team effort but to see six schools receive their well-deserved Charter Gold certificates with such smiley, proud faces means everything."
Children from Redscope Primary, students from Wales High School and members of the Charter Implementation Team also joined the celebration.
Children from Anston Greenlands School Choir provided entertainment at the event and gave an impressive performance of their singing skills.
The Charter is also an important feature in Rotherham’s response to new reforms taking place for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
From September, there will be a number of changes to legislation around special educational needs and disability. One of these will be the delivery of a 'Local Offer' which says what will be available from schools and services for children and young people in Rotherham who have special educational needs and disabilities. The Charter will be an important part of Rotherham's response to the new reforms.
Rotherham Borough Council’s Strategic Director of Children and Young Peoples Services Joyce Thacker said: "Today reaffirmed why the Rotherham Charter really matters to children and their families.
"Charter principles were developed out of research interviews with children with additional needs in Rotherham, and their parents, later to extend to all parents and children in Rotherham.
"Research showed that whilst there is much good practice in Rotherham schools and services, they can do even better. It is relatively small changes that can make big differences to the wellbeing and outcomes of children and families.
Redscope Primary School’s Family Liaison Coordinator Anita Tasker said: "What a fantastic afternoon. We were all in awe of the amazing practice taking place in schools in Rotherham. We came away totally inspired."