Citizenship manifestos project background
The Citizenship Foundation, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, is developing an exciting new project aimed at bringing coherence and structure to secondary citizenship education provision.
Independent reports from OFSTED and NFER and monitoring exercises by QCA suggest that there is still considerable uncertainty in schools about the meaning and scope of citizenship and that students’ experience of citizenship is often patchy. In particular, schools have found it difficult to build up links between explicit citizenship learning in the classroom and what students can learn through participation in the life of the school as a whole and through its connections with the wider community. There is a real need to identify those elements of a school’s structure and organisation that have a bearing on citizenship learning, and to understand how these different elements can be improved and brought together to form a coherent programme.
The Citizenship Manifestos Project aims to articulate and inform this process through the creation of citizenship manifestos.
The citizenship manifesto is a concise public document that outlines a school’s citizenship values and the opportunities for student participation and citizenship learning that occur in both the taught curriculum and in the everyday processes and structures of school life. It sets out student entitlement to citizenship and offers a guarantee of action which the school is willing to make to its stakeholders, rather like the manifestos of political parties. Developed through consultation with students, teachers, parents and community partners the citizenship manifesto is intended to be innovative, inclusive, participative and reflective.
Up to twelve schools nationally, in partnership with their local communities will develop, trial and evaluate citizenship manifestos - with the support of the Citizenship Manifestos Project Team - as a means to identify, inform and develop their citizenship practice, entitlement and provision. An important aspect of this work will be the creation of an online support pack which will subsequently be available to all schools nationwide.
The Citizenship Manifestos Project launched in January 2006 and ran until March 2008.