Youth Select Committee Inquiry into ‘Curriculum for Life’

Monday 1 July 2013

On Friday our Chair, Liz Moorse, was the first witness at the Youth Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament. This group of young people is conducting an inquiry into whether the current National Curriculum and schooling more generally provides young people with the skills they need in life.

Liz Moorse, Chair, Democratic Life, on BBC Parliament

Liz Moorse on BBC Parliament giving evidence to the Youth Select Committee

This topic came out of the UK Youth Parliament’s annual debate as their top priority. Underlying this is a strong feeling from young people that more needs to be done  in the National Curriculum around ‘life skills’ such as political education, personal finance and cultural awareness.

Clearly this supports much of what Democratic Life has been campaigning for and we had submitted written evidence to the Youth Select Committee already. The quality of this evidence was cited by Committee members as one of the reasons why we had been invited to give oral evidence.

Michael, from the Citizenship Foundation, and I went along to support Liz. As she was outnumbered on the panel by four representatives from Brook/the Family Planning Association, I was glad we did. Liz put our case very strongly and I think her points were well-taken by the Committee. One of her central points, and something the Committee were keen to find out more about, was about ensuring that the provision of Citizenship is universally high. Liz highlighted the lack of an HMI (lead inspector) for Citizenship at Ofsted and the fact that many schools do not have specialist Citizenship teachers.

In her closing statements Liz came back to this point and hoped that the Select Committee’s final report would call on all schools, both primary and secondary, to employ and support trained Citizenship teachers.

We hope that the Youth Select Committee will be a powerful voice for young people in shaping the way schools engage in learning about life skills. This was clearly the aim of the Committee members and we hope they feel that quality Citizenship lessons play a key part in that.

You can see the footage of Liz’s evidence on the BBC Parliament website here:

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