Excluded by secularist views

4th February 2005 at 00:00
* I was surprised that David Bell's speech focused on the poor delivery of the citizenship curriculum, but not enough on how to tackle this problem.

Not only was he criticising independent Muslim schools, he also harped on about what makes "good citizens", and how schools should do more to promote national identity and cultural diversity. While the issues he raised are important, they do not reflect my understanding of the new citizenship curriculum, which aims to equip young people with the skills and knowledge needed to challenge and actively participate in community issues.

Surely, if Ofsted really wants to support schools in meeting the challenges of the new curriculum, it should avoid muddying the debate with unnecessary attacks such as that on Muslim schools? None of this helps to make citizenship more appealing to the poor students who are expected to take part in the subject.

Let's stick to working with schools to improve young people's access to decision-making and encourage them to be active citizens.

Raji Hunjan Carnegie Young People Initiative Downstream Building 1 London Bridge London SE1

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