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5 October, 2007

Citizenship Foundation urges Review to look at bigger picture

The Citizenship Foundation has welcomed the formal review of Citizenship issues to be launched today by Lord Goldsmith, in particular the focus it will bring to better Citizenship education and the role that effective Citizenship can play in developing stronger communities. But Chief Executive Tony Breslin urges the review to look at the bigger picture.

He said “At the Citizenship Foundation we believe that we need to bring a rich and deep definition to citizenship, not simply a narrow, legal one. We need to look at the bigger picture of what it means to be a citizen, actively engaged in society and in our community.

“While we don’t take a position on Citizenship ceremonies, there is evidence that those taking part find them rewarding and enjoyable. But, the ceremony should be understood as a marker on the journey rather than as an end in itself. As with a wedding, it is what follows the big day that matters.

“And for people to be effective citizens, able to impact positively on the word around them, we need high quality Citizenship education provision, not just for newcomers and school students, but accessible by all. Individuals and communities need to have the legal and political literacy to engage in society: how to get your child into school, how to set up a community group in your area, how to exercise your employment rights and how to impact on the political process. Currently, many of those who need this political and legal literacy most are the least likely to receive it. We are interested in addressing this imbalance and we urge Lord Goldsmith’s review to take the same focus.”

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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, it focuses on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. Its work includes resources, training, active learning programmes, community projects and research. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

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