Citizenship Educational Longitudinal Study 6th report 2008
Citizenship Educational Longitudinal Study 6th report 2008


Research Report, October 2008

Available from the DfE web site

The 6th Annual Report of the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study (CELS) was published on 25 September 2008 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). This report presents the latest findings of a longitudinal study being conducted by NFER into the long-term and short-term effects of citizenship education on students and schools. The Study began in 2001 and is following the first cohort of students to have statutory citizenship education in secondary schools in England. It will end in 2009/2010, when this first cohort will have completed their education and made the transition to becoming adult citizens.

The 6th Annual Report focuses on young people's civic participation in and outside of school, and draws primarily on a longitudinal survey of Year 11 students (age 15 to 16) that was conducted in 75 schools in 2006-2007.

Over 11,000 students completed the latest questionnaire, which is the third CELS survey that this cohort has participated in. The report also highlights any preliminary changes and trends that may have emerged since the first and second surveys were undertaken in Year 7 and Year 9. The report also presents some preliminary findings from the longitudinal survey of teachers and school leaders from these 75 schools.

Key Findings:

This report focuses on the findings from a survey of students from the longitudinal sample that was conducted in 2007, when the students were in year 11. Key findings from this report were that young people in England today ....

  • Are interested in politics and poltical issues...
    ... but are not very interested in joining a political party or getting involved in local politics.
  • Like the idea of voting....
    ...but may not vote in elections. Only around 50% of Year 11 students say that they will vote in elections when they turn 18.
  • Have more trust in their friends, teachers and the police...
    ... than in politicians or political institutions.
  • Have clear ideas about what is right and what is wrong, and strongly believe that there are some rules that should not be broken.
  • But if they see something wrong, they are not likely to protest in a public forum...
    ...only 25% said that they would take part in non-violent protest, or contact a newspaper, a radio or TV show.
  • Are very attached to their school and their local communities...
    ...but don't feel part as much a part of a British or European community.
  • Feel that their school gives them a chance to discuss important issues, but less so than in previous years...
    ...although their teachers think that they have just as many opportunities to participate!

Further Information:
Format: Paperback, 134pp, ISBN: 9781847752383
Sponsor(s): DCSF

How to cite this publication:

Benton,T., Cleaver, E., Featherstone, G., Kerr, D., Lopes, J. and Whitby, K. (2008) Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study (CELS): Sixth Annual Report. Young People's Civic Participation In and Beyond School: Attitudes, Intentions and Influences (DCSF Research Report 052). London: DCSF.