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Teachers call for citizenship lessons

29/07/2016 Joanna

A group of 37 headteachers, academics and educationists have written an open letter to newly-appointed education secretary Justine Greening asking for a renewed commitment to be made to citizenship lessons in schools.

The letter, which was dated July 27th, argued that as well as citizenship lessons, RE and personal, social and health education (PSHE) are slowly being taken out of the curriculum due to the demands of core academic subjects.

It stated that "in addition to acquiring knowledge, young people need to successfully develop conflict-resolution, decision-making skills, self-regulation, self-respect, negotiation and respect for those with different beliefs and values."

David Lundie, senior lecturer in education at Liverpool Hope University, arranged the discussion which led to this letter. He stated: "It is vital that, in times of unprecedented change like this, that we pay special attention to the impact that Brexit is already having, and will have, on young people."

Teachers are encouraged to ask challenging questions that allow students to express concerns surrounding certain subjects, and these classes are considered to be the perfect opportunity for these to be raised.

"Now is the time to commit to a renewed conversation about our shared national values, ensuring that young people’s voices are heard," the letter stated.

According to the letter, the children’s commissioner, as well as the majority of teachers, pupils and parents, are in favour of compulsory PSHE lessons, and as such, the group is calling for this subject to be made mandatory.

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