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8 May, 2014

Let's put citizenship at the heart of the new curriculum

We all know education is about more than grades: it prepares young people for their future so they can grab the world by the proverbials and make it theirs.

Some politicians want to bring that world closer by reducing the voting age to 16. They want more people to feel part of society and to play an active role in it.

Are 16 year-olds ready for this? They would be, say campaigners, if there was better citizenship education in schools.

The Political Studies Association has called for a standing Commission on Education for Citizenship to monitor citizenship education in schools, but currently no official body is doing this. Politicians from all parties talk of the importance of citizenship education, but they're not the people who will make it happen.

The people who will make it happen are the legions of passionate teachers who want their charges to leave school as rounded, effective people and not just as league-table statistics.

The new national curriculum is a great opportunity for schools to re-evaluate how they prepare students for society and to put citizenship at the heart of school life.

To help, Hodder Education's new book Citizenship Education for Key Stage 3 is out at the end of May, and the Association for Citizenship Teaching is running assessment training days for teachers.

Let's take that new curriculum and turn it into something fabulous.

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