ROSS High School has become the first school in East Lothian to receive the highest recognition for its work in enshrining children’s rights within everything it does.

The Tranent secondary school received a Level 2 Rights Respecting Schools award from Unicef UK after meeting its tough standards throughout the school’s policies, practice and ethos.

Paul Reynolds, headteacher, said that he was delighted the school had earned the top accolade, describing it as a valuable training experience for everyone involved in its community.

He said: “We are delighted to have achieved this award as it is an area on which the pupils, parents and staff have been working hard over the last couple of years.

“We found the process extremely valuable and it has led to a much-improved ethos across the school.

“As part of this initiative we have established new aims and values, developed a code of conduct and introduced a code of learning.

“All of these are at the heart of everything we do here at Ross High School, summarised through our mission statement, Excellence for Everyone.

“I am particularly pleased that the work we have done to strengthen pupil voice in the school has been recognised.

“I would like to thanks Miss Duncan and Mr Munro as well as all of the pupils involved for all their efforts in leading this initiative.”

The Unicef Rights Respecting Schools award offers training to teachers and staff to work with young people and the school community to learn about children’s rights and put the lessons learned into everyday practice.

Reaching Level 2 can take up to four years of work and commitment from schools assessed by an independent child rights professional appointed by children’s organisation Unicef UK.

Ross High launched its bid to be recognised for its work in September 2014, reaching the top award in three years.

A spokesperson for Unicef UK said: “The award is not just about what children do but also, importantly, what adults do. In Rights Respecting Schools children’s rights are promoted and realised, adults and children work towards this goal together.”

Only two other schools in East Lothian are currently listed as achieving Level 1 awards, which are below the highest Level 2 accolade. They are Burgh Primary School, Musselburgh, and Knox Academy, Haddington.