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18 April, 2005

Esmee Fairbairn funds innovative citizenship manifestos

The Citizenship Foundation, the educational charity which aims to engage young people with the law, democracy and society, announced today that it has been awarded a grant of almost £160,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to develop and trial 'citizenship manifestos' with up to 12 secondary schools. The project will run over two and a half years.

‘Citizenship manifestos’, originated by the Citizenship Foundation’s chief executive Tony Breslin, aim to bring coherence to the citizenship curriculum for 11-16 year olds. The manifesto is a concise synopsis of both the school’s citizenship programme and its citizenship values – as well as a tool to review and improve existing provision. The approach will help schools to meet the challenge of delivering excellent citizenship education across the board: a core curriculum supported by cross curricular and off timetable activity, pupil participation and community involvement. Unique to each school, the manifestos will be shaped by pupils, teachers, parents and community partners.

Tony Breslin commented, “We are delighted to have received funding for this exciting new project. We already know that, where Citizenship is strongly resourced and well taught, it is both effective and popular but we also know that schools sometimes find it difficult to identify and bring together the various aspects of Citizenship Education within one coherent framework. A manifesto approach seeks to address this need”.

The Citizenship Foundation’s most important achievement to date was its role in successful lobbying for the inclusion of citizenship as part of the National Curriculum. In addition, it played a significant part in ensuring that legal and political literacy were at the heart of the new subject.

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Notes for editors:

About the Citizenship Foundation

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no. 801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, we focus particularly on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding.

Our work includes:

• A comprehensive range of citizenship resources for a wide audience from teachers to young offenders.

• Nationwide and international training programmes.

• National active learning projects for secondary schools.

• Community projects to develop citizenship education as a collective responsibility.

• Research to advance our understanding of best practice in citizenship education.

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