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22nd June 2001 at 01:00
A GOVERNMENT initiative to establish the best way of delivering citizenship education in secondary schools is to be pioneered by eleven consortia of schools, further education colleges, community organisations and voluntary groups.

After the lowest voter turn out in a general election since 1918, the Government wants to strengthen citizenship education for young people.

The consortia have been given pound;35,000 each to run two-year projects from autumn 2001to develop citizenship education for 16 to 19 year-olds. The idea to discover the most effective ways of encouraging young people to become active citizens on local, national and international levels. This good practice, once identified, will be made more widely available.

The projects will also be looking at ways of orging links between the various providers of post-16 education and training.

These include school sixth-forms, further education colleges, adult educational institutions, private training organisations, work-based training, community organisations and voluntary organisations.

Citizenship will be a compulsory part of the National Curriculum in schools at key stages 3 and 4 (ages 11 to 16) from August 2002.

In the long run it is intended that citizenship education will not stop at 16. An advisory group chaired by Professor Bernard Crick presented a report to then Education Secretary David Blunkett back in September 2000 which recommended, among other things, that active citizenship education should be an entitlement for all 16 to 19 year olds as well.

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