Focus on rights in class, says Liberty boss

27th March 2009 at 00:00

Teachers should ignore parts of the national curriculum and stick to teaching pupils their basic human rights, according to Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, writes William Stewart.

The campaigner, who gave the annual National Education Trust lecture last night, was concerned that the emphasis in the citizenship curriculum on teaching pupils about their "rights and responsibilities" sent the wrong message.

"I've no problem with people being told they've got responsibilities," she said. "But our fundamental human rights are not contingent on how we perform our responsibilities.

"When you structure it in those terms, it can quickly look like these are rights for good people. But they are not - they are inalienable rights that can never be taken away, no matter what you have done."

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