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8 September, 2003

Citizenship curriculum is relevant but needs more support say teachers

Citizenship classes are seen as relevant to their lives by the vast majority of pupils.

However, many teachers feel there is a lack of practical support for the subject, says a new report from Community Service Volunteers. Presenting the results of research based on 60 English schools, the release of Citizenship in the National Curriculum - one year on marks the first anniversary of Citizenship as a National Curriculum subject. Over half of the teachers surveyed indicated the need for resources to establish external and community links, 34 percent calling for a dedicated person to identify opportunities outside school. 'Teachers tell us that it's hard to make links with communities without adequate resources of time, telephone access and support,' said Elisabeth Hoodless, Executive Director of CSV. However, 95 percent thought their pupils viewed citizenship to be relevant to real life. This reflects findings by the National Foundation for Educational Research 1 that students who had been taught about citizenship were more likely to take an active interest in local and national politics. The findings come in the wake of an Ofsted report 2 published in July which suggested that school managers needed to do more to ensure effective planning and implementation of the subject. --- 1. NFER 2003. Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study First Cross-Sectional Survey 2001-2002, DfES, London. 2. Ofsted, Office for Standards in Education National Curriculum Citizenship: planning and implementation 200203. An inspection report of 25 schools. Share

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