UNA-UK responds to consultation on citizenship curriculum

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UNA-UK today submitted a response to the UK Department for Education's consultation on reform of the National Curriculum, which focussed on proposed changes to citizenship education.

A strong supporter of the citizenship curriculum since its inception, UNA-UK was delighted by the decision earlier this year to retain citizenship as a statutory foundation subject for Key Stages (KS) 3 and 4. We believe that citizenship is the only subject that enables pupils to explore Britain’s role on the world stage and pressing global challenges from a multidisciplinary perspective.

However, UNA-UK has some concerns about the new draft programmes of study. The draft removes the existing curriculum references to the United Nations, and makes scant mention of human rights. It omits a range of global issues - from poverty relief to sustainable development - which have hitherto been included in the curriculum. And while its focus on Parliament and volunteering is commendable, we fear that this presents too narrow a view of what active and responsible citizenship entails, particularly for young people who are not yet able to fully take part in democratic processes.

UNA-UK believes that pupils should understand