CELS is the biggest and longest-running study about the impact of citizenship education anywhere in the world. The project was commissioned by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), and started in 2001, when citizenship education became a compulsory subject for all schools in England.
The aim of CELS is to study the effects of the compulsory citizenship education curriculum on young people and schools in England, and answer key questions such as:
- What are the effects of citizenship education on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of young people?
- How is citizenship education being delivered in schools, and how are these different delivery methods shaping outcomes for students and schools?
To answer these questions, CELS uses a combination of case study visits to schools and regular surveys with young people, teachers and school leaders. This enabled CELS to examine some of the short- and long-term impacts of citizenship education, and what citizenship means to young people in England today.