Citizenship A-level will launch in 2008

28th October 2005 at 01:00
Full A-levels and GCSEs in citizenship studies will be introduced in 2008, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has said.

Until now the subject, which has been part of the national curriculum since 2003, has only been available as a short-course GCSE.

Exam boards AQA and OCR are preparing for the new exams but Edexcel will not offer them.

The announcement came as the Commons education select committee met this week to discuss the progress of citizenship education.

Professor Sir Bernard Crick - who led the inquiry that recommended introducing citizenship into the curriculum - said some schools were teaching it brilliantly, but others avoided it.

He said that the subject needed dedicated lesson time rather than being spread thinly throughout the timetable and warned schools not to "dump" it on the last person in the staffroom to object.

Sir Bernard said he was amazed that the Prime Minister and other ministers talked so much about respect and youth behaviour without referring to citizenship, which had aimed to tackle such issues from the start.

"Senior politicians either do not have faith in it, or they have forgotten," he said.

Keith Ajegbo, head of Deptford Green school in south-east London, told MPs that citizenship had helped to reduce fighting and bullying at his comprehensive. "People talk about issues rather than hitting each other,"

he said.

John Clarke, deputy director of children's services in Hampshire, said citizenship classes at one primary in the county had dramatically cut exclusions, from 101 days a year to just seven.

He said children who were aware of their rights had more understanding of the rights of others, including adults.

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