- School is where most children and young people spend a lot of their time. It’s the main way that the Welsh Government ensures that you get your education
- While you are at school you’ll be expected to behave in a certain way and follow school rules – but even if you don’t, you still have rights
- You shouldn’t be treated unfairly either when you and your parents are choosing which school you should go to, when you are at school, or even when you are in trouble for breaking school rules
All children and young people in Wales have the right to education – so although this section of the website talks about ‘school’, where most children get their education, your rights will apply if you’re at a Pupil Referral Unit, or being taught somewhere else like a Young Offenders Institution or in a Secure Children’s Home or Training Centre.
It’s important that you know that your rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) apply while you’re at school. Even though there will be school rules, these have to take into account the UNCRC rights.
Thanks to the UNCRC and the European Convention of Human Rights:
- You have a right to education
- School discipline needs to respect your rights and your dignity
- Your education should allow you to develop and prepare you for your life as an adult.
- You should be encouraged to respect your own culture and the culture of other people
These rights relate specifically to school, but there are other rights in the UNCRC that should make sure school is a good and fair place to be.
- You shouldn’t be treated unfairly for any reason
- Decisions that are taken about you should be based on what will be best for you
- You should be able to tell people making decisions that affect you what you think – and they should listen and think about what you have said
- You have the right to privacy, freedom to believe what you want and freedom of expression, although only as long as you don’t make it difficult for someone else to have their rights
- You should be protected from violence and abuse
Wales takes its responsibility to make sure all children and young people have their rights under the UNCRC very seriously. From the way schools are run – so that children and young people are involved through School Councils – to making sure that children and young people are not unfairly excluded from school – and protecting children and young people from being treated unfairly while they are at school – your rights are protected. This doesn’t mean things will always go how you want them to at school – but it means that you will always be treated with respect.
In this section of our website, you can find out about:-
- Going to school
- What happens if you get your education somewhere other than school
- Being in Trouble at school
- School uniform
- Getting involved in how your school is run
- What you can do if you think you are being treated unfairly at school
- The rules about speaking Welsh or English at school
- What you can do if school isn’t meeting your needs
- What your options are after school