Signpost the way to citizenship

11th February 2005 at 00:00
Your report ("Cynical about citizenship", TES, January 21) correctly quoted chief inspector of schools David Bell as saying that inspectors found attempts to teach citizenship across the curriculum without timetabling any specific lessons have been largely unsuccessful.

Indeed the main thrust of Mr Bell's speech, reported on the same page, was on the importance for community building of teaching and learning in citizenship, both as a curriculum subject and as part of whole school participation. The best practice was often where discrete citizenship exists alongside and with support from other forms of provision.

The evidence of the Office for Standards in Education reports is supported by monitoring by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and early evidence from the nine-year longitudinal study on the outcomes of citizenship education, being undertaken on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

It seems apparent that pupils will only realise their entitlement when it is completely clear to them what they are learning and when it is taking place.

Chris Waller Professional officer, Association for Citizenship Teaching Ferroners House Shaftesbury Place London EC2

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