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13 February, 2015

A level citizenship is in grave danger: please help us save it

Exam board AQA is the only awarding body to offer A level citizenship studies, and now they're going to drop it. Please help us stop them.

Students in a citizenship education class.

The need for stronger citizenship education and qualification opportunities in the UK has never been greater.

This is apparent from the disaffection of young people with formal political processes, the implications of a possible reduction in the voting age to 16, and further requirements for schools and colleges to prevent extremism and engage their students with British values including democracy and the rule of law.

Citizenship studies combines academic knowledge and understanding with practical action. It makes an excellent contribution to the development of generic employability skills and preparation for higher education.

It carries full UCAS points and is widely accepted for university entrance, cited - by Cambridge University and the LSE, for example - as a good subject choice for students preparing for a range of arts, political and social science degree courses.

Citizenship is on the reformed National Curriculum and the new GCSE in citizenship studies has just been announced. It is essential that interested students have the opportunity to progress to AS and A level, and not least because such opportunities are to be in place for all other National Curriculum subjects.

The decision to drop this qualification seems absurd, particularly as AQA's own reputation is on the line. AQA is the only awarding body offering A level citizenship studies: dropping it will likely damage their reputation as the awarding body and educational charity to have done most to champion a wide range of qualifications for citizenship education.

A group of organisations has written to AQA. The letter is signed by David Blunket MP and Citizenship Foundation President Lord Phillips of Sudbury OBE.

Of course, other awarding bodies may well step forward to fill the gap left by AQA: we are lobbying hard and we shall encourage them to do just that. 

But we won't rest on our laurels.

We need your help to show AQA how badly wrong they are. Please sign this peition imploring AQA to reverse their baffling decision to drop this important A level qualification.


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