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Citizenship on the National Curriculum

Citizenship is statutory on the national curriculum for key stages 3 and 4.

A lawyer helps bring the law to life for school students.

The citizenship programmes of study for key stages 3 and 4 stipulate its purpose as providing 'knowledge, skills and understanding' to 'play a full and active part in society'. (There is currently no statutory citizenship curriculum for primary schools, though we believe there should be.)

Teaching should 'develop pupils’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens'.  

The citizenship curriculum fosters:

  • keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and law;
  • skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically;
  • skills and knowledge to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments;
  • pupils' ability 'to take their place in society as responsible citizens'.

And, since 1 July 2015, schools in England have a legal duty to prevent pupils from becoming radicalised. The Department for Education recommends the citizenship curriculum for meeting the Prevent Duty.

Citizenship is available as a GCSE. The framework was revised along with all other GCSEs that the Government retained in its reforms for first teaching in 2016.

As things stand, there will be no A level in citizenship from 2017, but this could change.

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