3rd June 2005 at 01:00
ADDRESSING INCLUSION AND INEQUALITIES THROUGH PSHE AND CITIZENSHIP. By Simon Blake and Sue Plant. National Children's Bureau. pound;16.

The UN convention on the rights of the child and the recent Every Child Matters and National Healthy Schools policy frameworks underpin the principles of this useful booklet, which offers advice to PSHE and Citizenship co-ordinators planning an inclusive curriculum.

The text provides specific examples of approaches to inequality that are "targeted to meet the needs of marginalised and vulnerable children". The authors suggest a number of sensitive ways of identifying such pupils and planning an appropriate curriculum that challenges a range of stereotypes and prejudices.

Some of the advice offered here by the authors is rather generic: for example on learning styles, differentiation and assessment. The brief case studies are useful but it would have been good to share more specific examples of classroom practice.

Nevertheless, a number of important questions, which ought to be central to curriculum planning, are addressed. I liked the examples of topical issues offered by the authors: teenage pregnancy; asylum seekers and refugees; trafficking of children; honour killings; the legal and human rights of young people with HIV; how the Iraq War has affected Muslims and race relations in the UK; and media stereotypes of traveller communities.

It is vital that contemporary issues like these receive curriculum time and are taught in meaningful and nuanced ways. This booklet offers a range of helpful suggestions on how to achieve this ideal.

Peter Brett

DfES regional adviser for citizenship

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