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Campaign to Keep Citizenship in Curriculum

Monday 7th March 2011

Campaigners are fighting to keep citizenship as a key subject in the national curriculum and are urging teachers to have their say in the final weeks of the consultation. Campaigners are worried that under MrGove’s new plan for focusing on traditional subject knowledge, citizenship could be sidelined. They say that citizenship is essential to a young person’s education and should remain a statutory requirement within the new curriculum.

Mr Gove has already said the national curriculum is to be reviewedsubject-by-subject. A call for evidence in the ongoing curriculum reviewwas issued in January and the deadline for submissions is April 14.

Democratic Life, a coalition that includes the Citizenship Foundation, Amnesty International and the Association for Citizenship Teaching, are heading up the campaign.

Citizenship was introduced across the curriculum in 1996 by the then Conservative administration, before the Labour government made it a compulsory subject at key stages 3 and 4 in 2002. Since then, almost 500,000 students have taken A levels and GCSEs in the subject, with 100,000 sitting citizenship GCSEs last year. There are now around 2,000 teachers who have trained specially in citizenship.

The campaigners have written to MPs from all parties with a nine-page brief showing the benefits citizenship can have as a subject and its achievements.

SecEd reports that Molly Kearney, policy and advocacy manager at theCitizenship Foundation said: “The government is arguing the need for more set academic subjects, and the maths and sciences are important, but citizenship reflects society and whats going on around pupils. It enables students to be politically active and to learn about economics and current affairs.”


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