Seize the day for citizenship

26th May 2000 at 01:00
DAVID Brockington's article on citizenship was a welcome breath of fresh air (TES, April 28).

In arguing for an inclusive framework for citizenship and personal and social education, he raises some important issues about underpinning values, and the curriculum design and assessment arrangements that follow.

The two are inextricably linked and, if we want to create a more just society, we have a unique opportunity at our fingertips.

For the first time for many years we have a Secretary of State for Education who is committed to an inclusive national education system. He believes sufficiently in state education to put his own children through it; he genuinely wants to make every school a good school; he is committed to decreasing the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots", and he sees the introduction of citizenship as something that will make a difference.

At the same time we have an outgoing chief executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority - Nick Tate - who wantsa society "which celebrates humanitarians and philanthropists - not philanderers - on the front pages of its newspapers".

And in David Hargreaves, the incoming chief executive, we have someone who believes in the need to establish "a first and public language of citizenship" where "active citizens are as political as they are moral".

We also have teachers with a strong set of personal and social values who want to convey these through the curriculum.

The timing of all this could not be better, if we can harness the energies of those involved. With regard to citizenship, the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) is working closely with a number of organisations to produce curriculum programmes and assessment frameworks that both excite and motivate young people. We welcome discussions with other interested individuals and organisations (Asdan@uwe.ac.uk).

Roger White

ASDAN national co-ordinator

University for the West of England

Bristol


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