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6 December, 2010

Democratic Life campaign continues apace

It has been a busy few weeks for Democratic Life with citizenship education being endorsed by MPs, and in the House of Lords, the launch of the education white paper on 24 November, and preparation for the upcoming curriculum review.

The white paper did not mention citizenship education specifically, nor did it give any detail of the process for reviewing the National Curriculum. However, Michael Gove's introduction does say, ‘It is only through reforming education that we can allow every child the chance to take their full and equal share in citizenship', which are sentiments that Democratic Life will certainly try to capitalise on.

Following the launch of the white paper Lord Hill of Oareford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, introduced the white paper to the House of Lords. While there was no explicit mention of citizenship in the paper itself, Lord Beecham raised the issue in the debate that followed Lord Hill's statement. In his response Lord Hill endorsed the importance of citizenship education.

On 17 November Liverpool MP Stephen Twigg made a short speech on the values of citizenship education in a House of Commons debate. He is a vocal champion of citizenship and Democratic Life are thrilled to have his support for the subject. The campaign had a double bill of success in parliament that week with the House of Lords also holding a debate on active citizenship. No less than seven Peers' speeches made mention of citizenship education's vital contribution to encouraging active citizenship.

Democratic Life will be hosting a drinks reception in the House of Commons on Wednesday 12 January 2011. Distinguished speakers from both educational and political backgrounds will highlight citizenship education's unique position in England's National Curriculum (as the only subject that teaches young people about our political system and how they can get involved in it) and will explore the future of citizenship under the Coalition Government's planned education reforms.

Democratic Life is a coalition of organisations and individuals in the UK seeking to strengthen and extend young people's entitlement to high-quality citizenship education in England.

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