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17 May, 2002

Leicester School launches Speakers 4 Schools

The National Launch of the Speakers 4 Schools project took place today at The City of Leicester School, Leicester.

Speakers 4 Schools is a joint initiative by the Bar Council, the Bar Human Rights Committee and the Citizenship Foundation, with sponsorship from the Body Shop Foundation, which brings working barristers into the classroom. The project uses talks led by barristers to improve young people's understanding of human rights. It is targeted at pupils in years 10 to 13 ages 14-19, and reflects the mandatory inclusion of citizenship in the National Curriculum from September 2002. Through working with barristers, students have the opportunity to learn about complex human rights issues in a way that is accessible and relevant, as well as developing their skills of enquiry and communication. More than 700 barristers nationwide have signed up to the scheme so far. Secondary schools across England and Wales will be offered the chance of a visit from a local barrister, following the successful piloting of the project at schools in the North East and Wales and Chester Circuit areas. Students from The City of Leicester School who have taken part in the scheme gave a short presentation at the launch about the range of issues they have explored with their twinned barristers. Chairman of the Bar Council, David Bean QC told the launch, 'As a co-founder of the project, the Bar Council has been delighted at the success of the pilot scheme over the last 12 months. The interest shown has been amazing. The credit goes to those who have worked so hard to ensure its success, particularly the participating schools and barristers and I would like to offer our thanks and congratulations'. Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation says, 'Young people and their teachers really value the experience that speakers from a range of backgrounds can bring to the classroom. The more challenging the young person's background, the greater the benefit. The Speakers 4 Schools project is a really exciting development for the teaching of citizenship'. Share

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