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28 June, 2013

Government reaffirms its commitment to a citizenship curriculum in schools

In a House of Lords debate on citizenship education yesterday, education minister Lord Nash told peers, 'We have made our commitment abundantly clear'. But the proof is in the pudding, and the new curriculum is still to be published.

At the end of the Short Debate on citizenship education brought by Lord Cormack, Lord Nash said:

'My noble friend asked what the Government were doing to enhance the delivery of citizenship and ensure that head teachers take the subject seriously. We have made our commitment to citizenship abundantly clear by retaining the statutory status of citizenship in secondary schools as part of the review of the national curriculum.

'Citizenship is one of only six subjects in the new national curriculum to be compulsory at key stage 4. A GCSE in citizenship currently receives credit in the school accountability system through the school performance tables, and will continue to count'.

Addressing concerns that the proposed new citizenship curriculum had gaps, he said:

'We have revised the citizenship programmes of study to ensure that they direct teaching towards the core knowledge of citizenship: namely, teaching about the way our society is governed and its laws, including those that protect human rights, rather than the more issues-based content that dominates the current programme of study.'

'Our proposed changes to the citizenship curriculum include having a stronger emphasis on teaching about our political system, our democracy and the nature of our laws, so that many more of our young people engage with the political process'.

The new National Curriculum is due to be published in the next few weeks. We wait with bated breath to see how far it's come since its last draft.

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