One week in and we have just passed our initial target in our campaign to keep A level citizenship.
At the time of writing, 503 people have signed our online petition asking exam board AQA not to ditch the only A level in citizenship studies.
AQA’s decision to do so has serious implications for access to higher education, but the repercussions will be even more profound: citizenship education risks losing credibility as a serious subject and, in turn, as something that schools should take seriously.
The need for citizenship education in the UK has never been greater: young people are disaffected with formal politics; a reduction in the voting age to 16 looks increasingly likely; and schools are required to prevent extremism and engage their students with ‘British values’, including democracy and the rule of law.
We wrote to AQA and they replied: they reiterated their position but invited us to meet. We are taking them up on that.
We shall point out that uptake of the full-course citizenship GCSE increased from 12,000 to 20,000 last year and that those students need a proper, active, citizenship A level to progress to: not Sociology or Government and Politics, as AQA suggest.
We shall remind them that the A level carries full UCAS points and that Cambridge University, LSE and others refer explicitly to citizenship as an A level they look to when recruiting to a number of degree courses.
And we shall point out that Ed Miliband has promised more citizenship education, not less, if Labour gets into power.
All sorts of people want to keep A level citizenship and we are working hard to convince AQA to change its mind.
But we won’t stop there: we also encourage other exam boards to step in and fill the gap.