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10 April, 2008

New Citizenship Manifesto DIY workbook

On Wednesday 19 March teachers, students, educationalists and politicians attended a Manifesto Celebration Event at Portcullis House, Westminster.

The Citizenship Foundation, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, has been working with a group of secondary schools for over two years, trialling and developing the idea of a citizenship manifesto as a means of improving citizenship provision. At the end of the project we celebrated the work of the schools involved and provided workshops to further improve citizenship provision.

There were workshops on economic literacy, climate change and the Citizenship GCSE. Speeches and presentations about the manifesto concept were made by Ted Huddleston (Citizenship Foundation), Helen Ward (Stocksbridge School, Sheffield) and students (George Green School, Isle of Dogs). Ted Huddleston outlined the varied ways that schools have used the manifesto: to give citizenship education an identity, to make a richer programme for students, to involve students in policy-making, to help with staff development and to formalise community links.

Tony Breslin in the plenary speech said: ‘The work that our partner schools and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation have undertaken with us on the Citizenship Manifesto project has made a vital contribution to the process of developing citizenship as not just a new subject but a new type of subject, one that combines the highest quality classroom teaching with changes to how the school functions as a community - especially in terms of student participation - and in the community. We look forward to building on this work in the future; we must do so if we are to attain our own strategic objectives - better citizenship education, effective citizenship and stronger communities - objectives that find their expression in genuinely citizenship-rich schools. The schools' pack arising from the project that we will publish next month heralds an important step along the way to the achievement of these goals.'

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