Promoting citizenship education

lordnortonI spoke in a debate on Thursday on a citizenship programme in schools.  You can read the speech hereI have long been an advocate of citizenship teaching in schools and was very pleased when it was made part of the national curriculum at key stages 3 and 4 in 2002 and that the present Government, after a review, have decided to maintain it as part of the curriculum.  The problem, however, is that it is not adequately resourced.  There is no incentive for schools to give it priority – it makes no contribution to the league tables – and, although some schools teach it well, some rely on teachers who are not trained in the subject to teach it.  Having it badly taught may at times be worse than not having it taught at all.

There was clear support from all sides of the House for citizenship teaching, but the response from the minister was disappointing, offering nothing in terms of enhancing the teaching of the subject.  This is another issue that will need to be pursued.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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7 Responses to Promoting citizenship education

  1. maude elwes says:

    Citizenship is a wonderful idea if the people of a country, on the whole, want to be and feel committed as citizens of that country. Which in this country the majority do not. And that is what MP’s and Parliament, in the round, should be looking at. Why are ‘we’ not connected to this country as we should be? Why are we not voting in our free elections and why is government unconcerned by those facts?

    The general feeling of apathy is because ‘we’ feel betrayed by those who rule over us. Those who have settled here have no genuine belief in our way of life, and those who are indigenous feel the country has been sold out to any and all who take first place above them. Add to that the selling of our country to the US and their devious soviet style oppression of the people and maybe you will have the answer to the question you pose.

    The gross invasion of our privacy and the horrendous changes to our culture and way of life has left the entire nation running for cover. Half trained apes could have run a country better than what we have had to put up with for the last thirty years and the poverty hasn’t even begun to roll in the way it will over the coming couple of years.

    You imported poverty and have us rolling in it now. Whilst those at the top look on as they manage the destruction. We have been robbed of civilisation and it’s felt across the entire spectrum of our political movement. Citizenship classes cannot improve what is being dished out by a state that is totally out of touch with its nation. Because the problem doesn’t lie with the citizen it lies with those in Parliament who are exposed daily for the duplicitous group they are.

  2. ladytizzy says:

    A surprising article in a recent G2*, with the subheading:

    “Young people are supposed to be left-leaning idealists, but polls tell us that today’s under-34s don’t believe in handouts and high taxes – and they’re voting for David Cameron”

    Perhaps the result of leaving teachers with no extra time to inculcate young minds? That said, those who get involved with UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) and the annual debates in the HoC are amazing; the project remains unfinished.


  3. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    I never feel obligated to confuse simplicity with integrity. It may be that the ballot reforms proposed deserved to fail and also that no easy solution is at hand and yet in times of peak engagement building up the deadly combination FPTP and more than two parties was rarer. People know there vote may elect the person they like least under your current system. Two party FPTP or some kind of real majoritarianism both assure one gives pointed end of the sword to the fellow he or she doesn’t like. That gives people the itch to vote. splitting up one’s pals to elect the fellow one hates is not much fun . . .

    However, beyond that all the other problems you mention would still undermine participation by at least half of real decline. I think other factors besides alienation and party decline and voting mechanics will make it much worse soon if it is not turned around. Factors related to what I would call Global social decay….

  4. maude elwes says:

    The young and what it means to be British!

    And a male version.

    And in school

    So much for the views of youth.

  5. franksummers3ba says:


    Of course, you are communicating with a person who is has vastly greater challenges in communicating continuity to the next generation than the Brits do. However, I do believe under all the sound and fury these videos show real anxiety about British identity.

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