Last week, representatives from Democratic Life were involved in two meetings at the Department for Education (DFE) to discuss the future of Citizenship education. The fact that dialogue continues is in itself, we think, positive.
The discussions allowed us to raise a range of concerns about the way in which recent government policies and the on-going uncertainty about the future of the subject, has negatively affected provision in some schools.
We spent time with the Secretary of State and officials discussing the role of Citizenship in any future secondary curriculum. We were also able to impress upon them the importance of other measures that support effective Citizenship education. Attracting the best quality applicants to train as Citizenship teachers; monitoring and accountability of the subject through inspection by Ofsted; a solid grounding of Citizenship education in the primary curriculum; and public recognition of pupil attainment through robust Citizenship qualifications – are all important alongside the secondary curriculum to ensure high quality Citizenship continues and improves in our schools.
We are not sure when government will make public its proposals for the secondary curriculum. So the waiting game continues for now. But we departed the meetings feeling they had been open and constructive and left the way open for discussion to continue.