17 March, 2023

The Social Impact Award

Social Impact Award

The Social Impact Award

The Social Impact Award is a three-tiered accreditation that supports schools in embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs / Global Goals) into their school ethos. It is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination, and participation, and takes a whole-school approach to Children’s Rights education. The Award offers an opportunity to marry the SGDs to Children’s Rights and draw out their interconnectedness: it is through the achievement of the Global Goals that we ensure we are meeting Children’s Rights, and by ensuring Children’s Rights are at the core of everything we do, we enable young people to take action on the Global Goals. BISB was awarded the Bronze accreditation in August and we are working towards being one of the first Nord Anglia Schools to achieve the Silver accreditation later this year.


The Social Impact Award is based on the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award that is currently running in 5000 schools in the UK and has a significant evidence base supporting it gathered through independent research and evaluations, surveys with over 190,000 pupils and over 20,000 staff, self-assessments by over 600 headteachers, School inspection reports, and accreditation visits. Data collected over three years shows consistent findings on areas of the Award’s impact, which are interconnected as shown in the diagram below:

  Social Impact Award

Knowledge about Children’s Rights is central to achieving these impacts, since they not only set standards that children can expect, but also empower children to challenge when these standards are not met.

The Award also connects to each of the four pillars of the Nord Anglia Education Strategy: Academic Results, Global Connectedness, Creativity, and Wellbeing, Resilience, and Purpose. Children who feel their rights are being acknowledged and respected feel more engaged in their surroundings and perform better academically. The Award allows students across NAE to feel a part of a global initiative to acknowledge young people’s rights. Students who feel safe and empowered in their settings feel freer to express themselves creatively. Young people who learn about rights are empowered to understand what their rights are and to speak up for those rights. Putting rights at the core of a school creates an ethos of respect and empathy in schools.

What’s more, the values of the Social Impact Award are in accord with the BISB mission of empowered students. The award consists of three strands that overlap with the BISB aims of empowering students through their learning (Learning About Rights), values (Learning Through Rights) and ability to take action (Learning For Rights).

Learning about Rights means that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is made known to children, young people and adults who use this shared understanding to work for improved child well-being, school improvement, global justice and sustainable living through the Sustainable Development Goals. At BISB, we learn about Rights and the SDGs in assemblies and through events such as SDG-themed Week and World Children’s Day. A recent curriculum audit indicated that the SDGs are also well embedded across our whole-school academic curriculum. We will seek to increase awareness and understanding of the UNCRC themes and articles and their connection to the SDGs as we work towards our Silver accreditation.

Learning through Rights is about ethos and relationships. Actions and decisions affecting children are rooted, reviewed, and resolved through rights. Children, young people, and adults collaborate to develop and maintain a school community based on equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination, and participation in an international community; this includes learning and teaching in a way that respects the rights of both educators and learners and promotes well-being. At BISB, Rights are embedded in our relationships and ethos through rights-respecting restorative approaches, a well-being focus in Primary check-ins and the Secondary Guidance and pastoral programme, events like International Week that celebrates diversity and Anti-bulling week that helps us know how to respect the rights of others, and through many opportunities for students to take on leadership and mentoring roles such as Student Council, House Leaders, Head Students and Prefects, SISU Representatives and our Peer-Mentoring scheme. 

Learning for Rights is about participation and action. Children are empowered to enjoy and exercise their rights and to promote the rights of others locally and globally, using this as a foundation for widening their Social Impact and working towards the global goals. At BISB, all students have opportunities to take action. In Primary, the Smart Student Council engages all students in democratic processes, giving them a voice in decisions that affect them, and providing the opportunity to start an action group on an issue they care about; the Secondary Service-learning curriculum involves all Secondary students in SDG action projects every year. Beyond the classroom, Social Impact CCAs like the Changemakers and events like the Wear Blue for World Children’s Day offer further ways to engage with the SDGs and for students to exercise their right to act. The Year 6 Yes Fair is an example of how action is embedded in our curriculum and the Changemaker Ambassadors’ Rewilding the Campus project, with the help of a Nord Anglia Charitable Giving Grant, exemplifies our students’ ability to affect change within our community. 

Overall, the Social Impact Award provides a robust, evidence-based framework to measure and inform the progress of our Social Impact efforts, helping us to continue our mission of embedding student empowerment across our school community and ethos.