Schools should teach more citizenship and start it earlier, says Stephen Twigg
Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg has told the Citizenship Foundation that citizenship education should be 'more central rather than less' to school curriculums.
The government plans to relegate citizenship to the Basic Curriculum. Asked what he thought of this, Mr Twigg said: 'I think it's a big concern that citizenship could be lost from the school curriculum'.
'Even with citizenship in the National Curriculum there are huge variations between different schools and different parts of the country,' he continued.
'So I think we need to press for the outcome of the Curriculum Review to make citizenship more central rather than less central to schools' curriculums.'
This focus on citizenship should extend to primary as well as secondary schools, he added.
'I see great practice in a lot of primary schools as well as secondary schools with things like school councils. Let's make sure those things are the norm not the exception.'
The Shadow Education Secretary made his comments on Tuesday, at the launch of new research into civic engagement. The research, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research, looked at civic engagement among the first students to leave school since receiving statutory citizenship education.
Also see our interview with David Blunkett MP, former Education Secratary.