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Citizenship: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th February 2017.

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Photo of Anna Turley Anna Turley Labour/Co-operative, Redcar

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure effective teaching of citizenship education in schools in England; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Anna Turley Anna Turley Labour/Co-operative, Redcar

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to review the national curriculum's citizenship programme of study as proposed in the Government's White Paper Education Excellence Everywhere, published in March 2016.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Government is committed to ensuring that high quality citizenship education helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society.

Citizenship education is therefore part of the National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4. The revised programmes of study were introduced in September 2014 and seek to direct teaching towards the core knowledge of citizenship, and to give schools more scope to decide how to teach citizenship.

The Secretary of State is considering the proposal in the White Paper regarding citizenship.

Teachers are encouraged to develop their practice with the support of specialist organisations and expert professionals such as subject associations.

Ofsted, in its inspections of schools, considers the breadth and balance of the curriculum, including provision for pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, as well as their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. This includes how pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. Ofsted have strengthened their inspection frameworks so that inspectors assess how well all schools protect pupils from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and promote fundamental British values.

We are also supporting schools to meet their obligations to protect pupils from radicalisation and promote fundamental British values, and to help them build pupils’ resilience to extremism through knowledge so that they can question information, weigh arguments, and make reasoned judgments.

We are currently working with the Association of Citizenship Teaching on producing guidance and resources packs to help teachers lead knowledge based debates on topics relating to extremism, fundamental British values and contemporary political and social issues.

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