Citizenship at Key Stage 4

Am I alone in feeling the pitiful irony of history not being a compulsory subject at Key Stage 4, whereas citizenship is? When I see and hear how it is taught in some schools, compared to what students would experience in history lessons, it makes me shake with rage. This issue has been sharpened by the publication of Sir Keith Ajegbo’s report, which recommends the introduction of a history element to the citizenship curriculum in Key Stage 4. Sir Keith’s view is well summed up in this excerpt:

While it is important for young people to explore (contemporary) issues as they affect them today, it is equally important that they understand them through the lens of history. It is difficult to look at devolution without understanding how we became the United Kingdom. Can immigration be debated properly without some knowledge of the range of people who have arrived on these shores over centuries? We are certainly not advocating that Citizenship education should be conflated with history. However, we are strongly of the opinion that developing an appreciation of the relevant historical context is essential to understanding what it means to be a citizen of the UK today

So what can

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