Our mission: to mould model citizens

22nd February 2008 at 00:00

With the rise of antisocial behaviour and the murder of Gary Newlove by teenagers in Warrington, where I was born and bred, I feel compelled to write. As head of a Lincolnshire primary school, I hear people asking, `What can we do about this antisocial behaviour?' The answer is education. As a society, we need to value the teaching of citizenship. For this to happen, we need political impact, not rhetoric.

The reality is that, as a headteacher, I am judged on statistical (contextual value added) scores. At a local level, I attend county council meetings where the emphasis should be on Every Child Matters, but our time is spent discussing unrealistic targets for English and maths. At a national level, Ofsted judges our school on statistics because being able to quantify is safe and secure. But I would argue that qualitative judgements of developing future citizens would make our society more safe and secure. Surely an educational irony.

So what next? As a passionate advocate of lifelong learning, I believe that the future is to place citizenship as the highest priority. If we don't, we will fail to address our children's needs and make a nonsense of Every Child Matters.

James Greenwood, Headteacher, St Andrew's C of E Primary School, Leasingham, Lincolnshire.

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