Tomorrow's citizens

1st December 2000 at 00:00
It is essential," says Education Secretary David Blunkett, "that we do more to help young people develop a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities as citizens in a modern democracy, and to equip them better to deal with the difficult moral and social questions that arise in their lives and in society."

Citizenship is now incorporated in the guidelines for personal, social and health education for key stages 1 and 2 and will become part of statutory entitlement at KS3 and 4 from September 2002.

At a conference organised by the Citizenship Coalition on November 14, a new subject association was formed to encourage teachers interested in citizenship education. The Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) will be open to teachers from primary and secondary phases as well as to those working in further education. The committee will also have representatives from the Politics Association, the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences and PSHE teachers. More details from acting secretary Rebecca McTernan, John Lyon House, 5 High Timber Street, London EC4V 3NS.

In the meantime, teachers interested in primary in-service training can contact the Institute for Citizenship (62 Marylebone High Street, London W1M 3AF, tel: 020 7935 4777, web: www.citizen. to arrange tailor-made training for schools or to join in regional training.

The Institute for Citizenship is also piloting specific programmes on topical events such as the election of a mayor for London, European citizenship, resources for young offenders and activities for young people in local partnership forums with schools, voluntary organisations, local authorities and businesses.

The Centre for Citizenship Studies in Education at the University of Leicester has launched its distance learning course for teachers preparing to meet the demands of the national curriculum. It explores the notion of citizenship in a critical way, focusing particularly on issuesof equality. The nine units of the course each contain short tasks and exercises to develop understanding of such key areas as political literacy, human rights, inclusion and participation. The next course begins in January 2001. Contact Margaret Stace, tel: 0116 252 3681, e-mail: ccse@le. Web: centrescitizenship.

The Centre is also helping to develop and maintain a website called Global Dimension to support teachers who want to open up their teaching to global issues. It lists more than 400 resources to help students explore their own values and develop responsible attitudes to their fellow citizens. Each resource is reviewed by an experienced practitioner who evaluates it for relevance to age-group and curriculum requirements. The website can also be used to contact others who are interested: dimension.

Headteachers, senior managers, governors and local authorities should have already received Department for Education and Employment guidance (ref 01152000) on developing a global dimension in the classroom. As well as the Global Dimension website, the booklet lists other organisations that can help expand children's horizons, suggests how to amend school policies, and gives examples of successfully integrating global awareness into all the curricular areas, across phases. It will be of benefit to classroom teachers and management. DFEE Publications, tel: 0845 60 222 60.

For many schools, successful citizenship begins with the school council. School Councils UK is a charity promoting the self-discipline and conflict resolution skills learned through running a school council, either for a whole school or for a classroom.

For more on how to develop harmonious interactions among confident children, contact School Councils UK at 57 Etchingham Park Road, London N3 2EB. Tel: 020 8349 2459, e-mail: flo@scocon., web: www.

Citizenship, pages 16 and17

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