Citizens are not allowed to be failures

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
LABELLING a child a failure is notadvisable at the best of times but branding them a "failed citizen" is just not on, according to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

While teachers are wondering just what the content of this new compulsory subject will be, the exam watchdog is wondering what it should be called.

A consultation document proposes the short-course qualification should be "GCSE in Citizenship Studies" as opposed to "Citizenship", to try to avoid the situation where a pupil who does not obtain grade A to G could be described as havng failed citizenship.

The softly-softly approach fits in nicely with some of the literature that has been produced on the subject.

One book has sections on the mystery of self and honouring the spirit, and encourages pupils to do an Ally McBeal and find their own positive song, such as Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All.

The Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett, on the other hand, wants "hard-headed" citizenship, so maybe this means teachers should just be telling pupils that failure is part of life - deal with it.

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