When we mentioned to some of our students that the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, was considering downgrading the status of Citizenship in the national curriculum, they scurried off (and without any prompting from us), came back with this letter.
Our local MP happened to be visiting the next day, so they personally handed it to him, and he assured them that he would get a response for them from Mr Gove.
If Gove won’t listen to us Citizenship teachers, or Democratic Life, or the Association for Citizenship Teaching, or Stephen Twigg MP, or Simon Hughes MP, perhaps he’ll be convinced about the vital role Citizenship plays in our children’s eduction… by children. The letter speaks for itself.
Dear Mr Gove,
On behalf of the pupils of Blackfen School for Girls, we would like to complain about your plan of action to get rid of Citizenship. We think highly of this subject as it gives us a chance to share our opinions about society. This subject gives us a chance to express out feelings about how things are handled in today’s world.
We understand that you may not agree with us, but our parents have noticed a big difference in our knowledge and attitude, since we have been studying Citizenship.
Citizenship gives us the confidence to make a change in society. It also shows us what we can do to contribute to our community, and teaches us to be open-minded about the variety of cultures within our community.
We ask you kindly to reconsider, as we think highly of this subject and the teachers who teach us. They make us want to do bigger and better things with our lives.
Thank you for giving up your time to read this. We look forward to hearing from you.
The pupils of Blackfen School for Girls
Pete Pattisson is a senior teacher at Blackfen School for Girls, London. His blog “Power up!”contains new ideas and resources for teaching citizenship every week.