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12 February, 2010

Calling all Pupil Referral Units - have your say!

The Citizenship Foundation would like to encourage those who work in and attend Pupil Referral Units and other alternative settings to respond to the current DCSF consultation on Information Passports, Personal Learning Plans and the Core Entitlement.

The DCSF is inviting comments on the draft guidance for local authorities and schools on these three issues. Following a year of research into the need for citizenship education in Pupil Referral Units and other alternative settings, the Citizenship Foundation's own response will focus on the area of core entitlement.

The draft guidance outlines that the core curriculum will include: functional English and maths, scientific literacy, ICT and personal and social development.

We would argue that 'personal and social development' needs to be more clearly defined, and distinct citizenship and PSHE should be a part of the core curriculum for all young people outside of mainstream education. Our research shows that citizenship is widely regarded as a vital part of the curriculum in Pupil Referral Units. One teacher that we interviewed said:

'Citizenship shows them where they fit in the world. They feel like they are isolated by the world
around them. They’ve got no one. They trust no one. They won’t go anywhere for help. They see all
authority is a threat and a danger to them. The only people they have is each other. They won’t even
go to their parents. If I can do one thing for them, it is for them to learn that there are people they can
go to, even a police officer, knowing they will not get in trouble. Otherwise they sit on their own

In addition, the Citizenship Foundation is calling for wider training of teachers and youth workers to enable citizenship education to be delivered effectively.

The consultative guidance can be downloaded from the DCSF website and a response can be submitted online. The deadline is 4 March 2010. The key questions that you should answer with regard to the inclusion of citizenship in the core curriculum are:

(13a) Do you agree with the core entitlement and what it covers?

(16) Is the alternative provision market sufficiently developed to offer full-time provision, and what challenges are associated with this?

(17a) Do you agree that most pupils should study the full national curriculum in alternative provision?

(18) Do you agree that all pupils who receive all or a substantial amount of their education in alternative provision should have the core curriculum as set out in the guidance?

(19) Are there any other subjects which should be included in this core curriculum? If so, please state what they are and why you think they should be included in the box below.

(20a) Do you agree that all alternative provision should lead to accredited outcomes?

The Citizenship Foundation has completed this research as part of a project sponsored by the Wates Foundation to improve the delivery of citizenship education in Pupil Referral Units through the provision of resources and training.


Further information

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