Instruction in Citizenship

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons on 26th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr Ivor Thomas Mr Ivor Thomas , Keighley

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the Board has issued, or is prepared to issue, suggestions to teachers how best they can put before their pupils at an appropriate age the democratic ideals for which we are fighting and so prepare the children in our schools for their responsibilities as citizens?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The Board have emphasised repeatedly in the Handbook of Suggestions to Teachers and elsewhere the importance of inculcating in pupils a sense of their responsibility as citizens. They have information that a large number of schools are already giving regular training in various ways, and they are satisfied that the most appropriate method of imparting the instruction is a matter best left to the discretion of those responsible for the administration and teaching in the schools. I would also refer the hon. Member to a reply to a Question on 19th March, 1941, a copy of which I am sending him.

Photo of Mr Ivor Thomas Mr Ivor Thomas , Keighley

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there are many different definitions of democratic ideals?

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is the right hon. Gentleman linking up this matter with the consideration he is giving to religious and ethical instruction in schools, as democracy is intimately linked up with these two principles?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Yes, Sir, I bear all these matters in mind.