Citizenship Educational Longitudinal Study: First cross-sectional survey 2001-2002

David Kerr, Elizabeth Cleaver, Sarah Blenkinsop, Eleanor Ireland

01 April 2003

Research report available to download from DERA

From September 2002 Citizenship Education has become a statutory subject in England at key stages 3 and 4. The Citizenship Order sets out the anticipated learning outcomes in relation to knowledge, understanding and skills of enquiry and participation. However, methods of delivery are not prescribed, and although schools are intended to devote five per cent of teaching time to Citizenship, they may choose how to achieve this goal.

The DfES has commissioned the NFER to undertake a longitudinal study of citizenship education over eight years. This will track a cohort of young people who entered secondary school in 2002: a group which comprises some of the first students to have a continuous statutory entitlement to citizenship education. The Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study aims to identify, measure and evaluate the extent to which ‘effective practice’ in citizenship education develops in schools so that such practice can be promoted widely.

This Research Brief focuses on the findings of the first cross-sectional survey undertaken as part of the wider Study. Data from this survey provide pre-compulsory baseline evidence of existing knowledge about, and provision of, citizenship education from a nationally representative sample of schools in England. In addition, the findings chart the attitudes and knowledge of students prior to the introduction of citizenship education as a statutory subject.

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