Secondary Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 23 March 2023.

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Photo of Paul Girvan Paul Girvan Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to ensure that all Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils are taught about the culture, politics and geography of each of the UK nations as part of the national curriculum.

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

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

All schools in England must offer a curriculum that is balanced and broad, which prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The National Curriculum is a framework setting out the content of what the Department expects schools to cover in each subject. The National Curriculum does not set out how curriculum subjects, or topics within the subjects, should be taught. There is plenty of scope to teach pupils about the culture, politics and geography of each of the UK nations within the National Curriculum across a range of subjects, including citizenship, geography and where else teachers and schools feel it is appropriate.

Within citizenship, pupils in secondary maintained schools in England will learn about the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding. Pupils should also be taught about parliamentary democracy and the key elements of the constitution of the United Kingdom.

Within geography, pupils should be taught to name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features and land-use patterns, and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.

The Department has published Political Impartiality in Schools guidance to support teachers in tackling sensitive issues in the classroom in a politically impartial way. This guidance is available at:

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