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Citizenship but not compulsory

(15 Posts)
Penstemmon Mon 16-Feb-15 19:26:18
The DfE have just released this. It is similar to what most school have been doing for a long time. But do you think 'citizenship' should be compulsory??

Anne58 Mon 16-Feb-15 19:35:11

having just done a bit of a speed read, then my initial reaction is "yes", especially after a conversation with a friend who's son has just qualified as a teacher. He is now working in a lovely school in Cornwall, but 2 of his placements while training almost made him give up. His mother told me that the day before he was due to go back to one of the placement schools he just lay on the bed sobbing.

At first I thought "what a wuss!" but he was dealing with 9 year olds who told him to eff off, threw things at him in the classroom, threatened him etc. The school was in Wales, near a big caravan settlement. They organised a class assembly. Only 1 parent turned up sad

These children, behaving so badly, will be the parents of tomorrow, with (it would seem) no decent role models.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 16-Feb-15 19:56:48

Should be compulsory. Especially being as parents don't seem inclined to teach any of it. Or, in many cases, set a good example.

Mishap Mon 16-Feb-15 20:07:12

Some of these dictats are quite hard to get a grip on in practice. The social, moral etc syllabus that schools have to teach is quite controversial as it talks about teaching British values - whose might those be I wonder? A British born muslim in Bradford or middle class white Christian from Surrey? These somewhat nebulous concepts are a great deal more difficult to teach than maths.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 16-Feb-15 20:22:55

Why would Muslim and Christian values be different?It's not a religion thing at all. It's about decency and doing the right thing in any given situation.

J52 Mon 16-Feb-15 20:23:37

Yes! I taught it on the basis that I had the 'free' time during the week to do it!
However, it was an eye opener! The mixed ability class had very little idea about the meaning of the word or their rights and responsibilities.

By the end of two years, I insisted that they did the 'optional' exam. They all got a grade and knew a hell of a lot more! x

thatbags Mon 16-Feb-15 20:47:20

Citizenship has nothing to do with religion. It's about democracy, freedom of speech, tolerance, civic responsibility, accepting the rule of law, honesty, that kind of thing. Public things that affect everybody in a society whether religious or not.

So, yes, it gets my vote to be part of children's education. Many schools do cover aspects of it already... At least, the schools my kids went/go to did/do. So did the one I went to and the one my brothers went to, both of which, by the way, were Catholic schools.

Mishap Mon 16-Feb-15 21:16:35

How might we define British values? Schools are obliged to teach this - but what exactly is it I wonder.

J52 Mon 16-Feb-15 21:26:23

I don't think the syllabus we followed focussed on British values, rather more that the students were to consider their own responses to rights and responsibilities of society.

The British political system was also taught, purely in a non party political way, of course. x

Penstemmon Mon 16-Feb-15 21:38:07

See above for British Values as defined by DfE

thatbags Mon 16-Feb-15 21:40:20

As I see it, British values include democracy and adherence to the rule of law. Not all other countries include those things, but apart from that kind of difference, I don't think what would be included in citizenship education needs to be called British, but since we are in Britain and talking about what's fundamentally important in Britain (as well as in many other places), they are being called British for the purposes of what happens in Britain.

If France or Germany, for example, were to talk about teaching citizenship in schools, they'd be teaching the same things as we would be teaching in Britain, but they would perhaps call them French values or German values. The name doesn't matter. The content does.

Sorry if that's not very clear. It's clear in my head.

Penstemmon Mon 16-Feb-15 21:42:02

Much research shows that whilst schools can have some influence on behaviour and attitudes the biggest influence is home.

Now here's an idea: to claim benefits of any sort (inc tax allowances!) anyone 16+ must hold a certificate of Citizenship and British Values grin

I am joking!!!!!

Mishap Mon 16-Feb-15 22:15:59

Our school governing body has debated this - when you get down to the nitty gritty it is all pretty nebulous and not easy to meet the requirements.

Democracy and the rule of law are central values of course, but there is a great deal of detail that is not easy to honour.

We live in a multi-cultural multi-faith society that subscribes to a wide range of values. I know what I mean by British values, but so do many other people and their view may not coincide with mine.

Lilygran Tue 17-Feb-15 10:09:54

We used to call it 'civics' and it was about your rights and responsibilities, how the political system works, how elections work, the legal system, where your taxes go and so on. This is when I was at school, 60 years ago. When there was a general election, we had a mock election with pupils setting up political parties, real and invented. I think it was part of general studies and I believe there were visits to see the Crown Court and the local council.

thatbags Tue 17-Feb-15 10:18:12

I don't know what they called it at Minibags's primary school, but they certainly talked about right and responsibilities with the kids. Athersecondary school now this continues. I believe it may come under the broad heading of "social studies". At any rate, she is being taught about and she is discussing all sorts of pertinent issues be they political, social or environmental.