This section relates to articles 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the UNCRC and Section H of the Concluding Observations.
The government should work harder to make sure that you fulfil your potential at school whatever your background or any disabilities you might have. It should fulfil your right to an inclusive education, including for newcomer children who haven’t had experiences of a formal education like we have here in Northern Ireland.
Government should abolish the unofficial transfer tests at P7.
Schools should only suspend or expel you as a last resort, and shouldn’t ‘informally’ exclude you. They should try to reduce the number of children being expelled from school through working closely with social workers and educational psychologists, and use other methods such as mediation and restorative justice (This is where the school community agrees a way in which the person who could be expelled can take action to make up for what they have done).
If you are suspended or expelled, you have the right to challenge this, and you should be given legal support to do this.
Schools should not use isolation rooms as a punishment.
In Northern Ireland, government should try to make sure the education system is fully integrated and should carefully monitor ‘Shared Education’ projects to make sure it really helps you to mix with children and young people from different communities.
Government should make sure they give enough money for the care and education of very young children to help them develop, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups of children.
In school, every child and young person must be taught about their rights.
Your Free Time
The government should:
Develop plans and provide money to fulfil your right to rest and leisure, to play and to take part in recreational activities, cultural life and the arts.
You should have spaces to play in, and to get together with other young people, which are safe and easy to get to. This is really important for anyone who might have a disability or face other disadvantages.. People should not be allowed to smoke in these places, and there should be buses or trains to take you there.
You should be fully involved in planning and designing play and leisure activities, in your community, at the local council level and at the national level.