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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Teachers 'need citizenship help'
Classroom
Most children said citizenship lessons were useful
Teachers still need more help with citizenship lessons two years after they were made compulsory for English secondary schools, a report says.

The charity Community Service Volunteers found 54% thought pupils needed more chances to try citizenship activities out of school time.

Meanwhile, 28% of teachers said they wanted to attend a training course in dealing with the subject.

CSV spoke to staff at 68 schools across the country.

'Enjoyable subject'

Researchers also interviewed 194 pupils, of whom a quarter said citizenship had given them "more respect for the community".

Some 42% indicated it had either improved their confidence or communication skills, while 90% felt it was "useful".

Of their teachers, 89% believed their students viewed the subject as "relevant to real life".

The report, Citizenship in the Curriculum - two years on, asks the government to start "coherent and affordable" national training for teachers.

It also proposes that schools involve pupils more in running the subject.

The report says 94% of staff enjoy teaching citizenship "a lot" or "a little", while 78% of students enjoy being taught it.

Training

Peter Hayes, director of CSV Education, said: "Support for citizenship among pupils and teachers is getting stronger and engagement of schools with their communities is paying dividends.

"Although it is still early days in the development of the subject, it is clear that training and support for teachers needs strengthening to sustain this important addition to the curriculum."

Liberal Democrat education spokesman Phil Willis said: "By failing to provide essential training and support the government is letting down teachers and pupils."

However, a Department for Education and Skills spokeswoman said the CSV report showed citizenship lessons were making "good progress".

She added that 250 people were currently being trained to teach the subject, following 200 each year since 2000.




SEE ALSO:
Citizen lessons 'need more input'
08 Sep 03  |  Education
Schools struggling with citizenship
02 Jul 03  |  Education
What 15 year olds now have to study
03 Oct 03  |  Education


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