What Ofsted chief said

21st January 2005 at 00:00
Extracts from David Bell's HansardOfsted lecture

"What does it mean to be a citizen? Does it mean having the right to put a cross in a box on a ballot paper every four or so years? Does it mean having the responsibility to pay your taxes every month? Is it being involved in your local community or having a sense of pride in your country? Is it feeling part of something much greater and considering yourself a citizen of the world?

Or is it something less tangible but still significant in everyday life? I would suggest that being a citizen is about all this and more.

And that is why the introduction of citizenship as a national curriculum subject has brought with it such high expectations..."

"The introduction of citizenship challenges some assumptions about the status quo because it is intended to empower pupils.

The trick is to harness that power in a democratic school where the pupils recognise their ownership and the opportunities presented to them. For some schools, this is a long journey. They need to go back to their aims and values to ask what their education is about. An important part of any answer should be citizenship.

Developing citizenship is ultimately about developing citizens, an aim I believe that all of us here today would agree is vital to the future success of a healthy, vibrant and coherent British society."

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