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13 January, 2015

British values: why are we so afraid to teach citizenship?

Citizenship Foundation CEO Andy Thornton asks why, as young people's lives become increasingly public, the UK government seems unwilling to support the one curriculum subject that already explores British values.

Santa, to child on knee: Well its like this: we KNOW youve been a good boy because we monitor your Facebook feed.

In this essay [pdf] written just before Christmas, Andy Thorton asks why so little regard is paid to the statutory citizenship curriculum while politicains call for schools to promote the 'British values' of tolerance, respect and responsibility.

Citizenship does that already, preparing students for their part in a democratic society with its political, legal and economic institutions.

Andy points out that young people will inherit a country with widening inequality, greater legislative structures and more regulation than ever before; their private information will be intercepted and transmitted at speed and across vast distances; they will be monitored and recorded by ever more cameras.

Why, he asks, is the UK so afraid to help them cope with all that?

Why are we so afraid to teach citizenship? [pdf]


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