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11 May, 2010

Citizenship Foundation disappointed that primary curriculum reforms have been dropped from the CSF B

The Citizenship Foundation was disappointed to learn today that the reformed primary curriculum, as proposed by Sir Jim Rose, has been dropped from the Children, Schools and Family Bill in Parliament’s ‘wash-up’. In particular, we are saddened that citizenship education will not now become statutory in primary schools.

The Citizenship Foundation has long called for citizenship education to become statutory in primary schools in order to ensure that our young people are taught about their rights and responsibilities as citizens and about the importance of democracy and political participation from an early age. That citizenship becomes an entitlement in primary schools should be a concern for all of those who care about Britain's democratic health.

Marguerite Heath, director of the Citizenship Foundation's primary school programme, Go-Givers, commented:

‘It is extremely disappointing to learn that the new primary curriculum is not to be implemented after all the meticulous planning by the many educational experts and primary practitioners who were in broad agreement about the value of the reforms. It is difficult to understand how anyone could argue with the statutory status of PSHE and Citizenship, which surely form the basis of the curriculum in any good primary school. I feel sure that, mindful of the best interests of our children, our finest schools will instigate the changes anyway. For the rest, this is a missed opportunity.'

Though criticised by politicians, the proposed Rose reforms were widely acclaimed by educators for their flexibility and breadth. Many primary schools and local authorities have already begun preparing for the curriculum changes and the Citizenship Foundation hopes that which ever government is in power post-May 6 will consider reintroducing the reforms in the new Parliamentary session.


Media contact
Molly Kearney at the Citizenship Foundation, tel: 0207 566 5034 or email molly.kearney@citizenshipfoundation.org.uk


Notes to Editors
About the Citizenship Foundation
The Citizenship Foundation is an independent education and participation charity (no 801360) that aims to encourage and enable individuals to engage in democratic society. Founded in 1989, our particular focus is on developing young people's citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding of the law, democracy and public life. We do this by championing civic participation, supporting teachers and schools with the delivery of citizenship education and by working with young people in community-settings on issues that concern them. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

About the proposed primary curriculum
The Children, Schools and Families Bill - following recommendations from The Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum, led by Sir Jim Rose - proposed that the curriculum for key stages 1 and 2 be organised into 'areas of learning'. The 'areas of learning' were: understanding English, communication and languages; mathematical understanding; scientific and technological understanding; historical, geographical and social understanding; understanding the arts; and understanding physical development, health and well-being. The area entitled 'historical, geographical and social learning' would have been composed of three subjects: history, geography and citizenship, each of which was given equal status in the curriculum guidance developed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA).

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