In the summer of 2017, two students (Bethany Frost and Megan Dalton) from the School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln were funded by the university’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme (UROS) 2017 to conduct a study called ‘Engaging Schools with a Children’s Rights Initiative for Lincoln’.

The aim of the research was to explore how many schools in Lincoln might support the aspiration of the Children of Lincoln steering group in being recognised as a UNICEF Child Friendly City and to find out what they already know about UNICEF initiatives. The project involved a consultation with local schools. Lincoln City has 24 primary schools, 7 secondary schools and 4 special schools, of which 9 are currently registered with UNICEF.

The purpose of the research was threefold:

  1. To establish the current extent of school engagement with the childrenin the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award, their inclusion of child rights in the curriculum, and the integration of a child rights approach in the organisation and management of the school.
  2. To consult with schools about how they might get involved in the child rights initiative, including their willingness to engage their students in participation/consultation activities eg designing the logo and name for the project, and generating a young person
  3. To consider how children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds might best be included within any ‘child friendly city’ initiative so that their voices are included.

The researchers undertook interviews and a focus group with senior management staff from schools in the Lincoln City. The data gathered is currently being analysed and will be used to inform a strategy for the launch of Children of Lincoln child rights initiative. We anticipate that the research will provide a valuable platform for exploring future research or project funding opportunities.

Watch this space for outputs from the research.

On Wednesday 20th September 2017, Bethany and Megan presented a poster based on the research at the launch of the University of Lincoln’s Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching (@UoL_LALT).

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