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20 December, 2013

Citizenship Foundation asks Department for Education why citizenship is missing from the A level consultation

The Citizenship Foundation has responded to the Department for Education's consultation on A level subject content, to raise concerns about the omission of citizenship.

In a letter signed by our President, The Lord Phillips of Sudbury OBE, we express alarm that the DfE has not included citizenship in its New A levels subject content consultation.

We point out that Michael Gove made a particular and clear commitment to citizenship when he wrote new programmes of study for it at key stages 3 and 4, even against advice from the Curriculum Review Expert Panel. 

Citizenship is also missing from Ofqual’s parallel consultation on new A level regulatory requirements. Although Ofqual ‘will consult on changes to other A levels at a later stage’, it makes no commitment on which subjects will be included. We hope Ofqual will recognise citizenship and we shall respond to that consultation when it appears.

Ofqual’s current consultation suggests there will be no significant changes to qualifications beyond those that were consulted on previously. However, all A levels are to be decoupled from Advanced Subsidiary (AS) levels.

This is itself a significant change and one that may spell the end of small-entry A levels.

For many students, citizenship A levels have been vital for progressing from the National Curriculum to further and higher education (around 800 currently enter A level Citizenship Studies and around 3,800 enter the AS).

Our letter asks for an explanation for leaving citizenship out of the current A level consultation, and an outline of the DfE's timeframe for reviewing the consultation’s implications for citizenship A levels.

We also ask for a guarantee that both the DfE and Ofqual will consult the citizenship community fully before introducing any changes.

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