Britain and "Citizenship Lessons"

Simon Wright made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Children, Schools and Families

The request was successful.

From: Simon Wright

11 October 2008

Dear Sir or Madam,

Is the national anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland taught in British schools? If it is taught at what
age and lesson would this be covered in? If it is not compulsory
for schools to teach the anthem, how long has this been the case
and who is responsible for it being removed from the education
system? Any available documents on this issue would be most helpful

What topics or issues are compulsory for schools to cover in
citizenship lessons and are there any available documents showing
this advice given to schools?

Do schools have to inform children about certain national holidays
or events, For example, The Commonwealth Day, Europe Day, the
Queens Official Birthday? Is there any documents available with
advice for schools on these issues?

Does the department of Children, Schools and Families give a
definition of "BRITISHNESS" as advice to schools. If it does,
please can i see this advice and how and when the definition was
reached and by who.

Does the department supply union flags to schools who wish to
display the flag like many councils do? If they do not supply them,
is there any advice of guidance to schools about a policy on
displaying flags... If so may i see that advice.

That is all for now, thanks in advance

Yours faithfully,

Simon Wright

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Department for Children, Schools and Families

13 October 2008

Dear Mr Wright,

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible (where a response is required). For information, the
departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses
should be sent within 15 working days or 20 working days if you are
requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2008/0084779

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288
www.dcsf.gov.uk

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Department for Children, Schools and Families

5 November 2008

Dear Mr Wright,
Thank you for your email of 11 October requesting information under the
Freedom of Information Act, about Britain and Citizenship lessons. I will
answer these in turn.

National Anthem
The national anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland is not taught in schools as it is not specified as part of the
national curriculum.

Citizenship Education
This covers the key concepts of democracy and justice, rights and
responsibilities and identities and diversity: living together in the UK.
It develops the essential skills and processes of critical thinking and
enquiry, advocacy and representation and taking informed and responsible
action.

You can find out more information on how the subject is taught from the
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority website at
[1]www.qca.org.uk/citizenship. You can also find more information from
the Association for Citizenship Teaching who are the professional subject
association for those involved in citizenship education at
[2]www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk.

National Holidays
Citizenship education includes a requirement for pupils to be taught about
the UK's relations in Europe, including the European Union and the wider
issues and challenges of global interdependence and responsibility. This
provides the context for schools to organise and participate in special
days such as Commonwealth Day and Europe Day. The Department encourages
schools to use special days and events as a focus for curriculum delivery
and enrichment. However, it is up to schools to decide which events they
wish to organise.

Definition of "Britishness"
The Department does not give a definition of Britishness as advice to
schools. The engagement of young people in society and their understanding
of what it is to be a citizen is central to creating a diverse but
cohesive country. Pupils will explore what it means to be British as part
of a wider discussion of their identities, and the values associated with
them, in a new element to secondary school citizenship education called
Identity and Diversity.

Union flags
The Department does not supply union flags to schools and it does not give
advice or guidance on displaying the flags. Schools are free to fly
flags, including the Union flag on any day they choose, but it is for
individual schools whether to do so or not.

Yours sincerely,

Tendayi Chitekwe
Curriculum Specialism Unit
[3]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2008/0084779.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.qca.org.uk/citizenship
2. http://www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk/
3. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/

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From: Simon Wright

5 November 2008

Dear Tendayi Chitekwe

Thank you for your response to my freedom of information request,
it provided me with most of the information I was seeking. The
links provided to do with citizenship lessons were helpful but
there was very little guidance for schools and teachers on the new
“Identity and diversity” field you mentioned. Are all teachers who
are paid to provide citizenship lessons tested themselves on their
knowledge of national events and national identity and able to
teach such subjects? Is there any documentation you could provide
me on the standards required for citizenship teachers, tests they
must take or information on compulsory training for such teachers
(rather than just online extra resources they can choose to use).

Also is citizenship KS3 / KS4 required in all schools in England?
Do private / religious schools have to follow the same courses as
they would for English etc if they currently don’t does the
department have any plans to change it in the future?

I do require more information on the national anthem and its use in
schools. You say it is not part of the national curriculum, has
this always been the case? Has the government or previous
governments done any research into how many schools do teach the
national anthem and patterns of any change over the past few
decades. Has research been done into other countries and their
teaching of anthems in schools. Have any proposals been made to the
government or the DCSF to include the anthem in the curriculum in
order to further the citizenship lessons or deal with the issue of
British identity.

Thank you for your help, all information you can find and provide
me with on the issue of the national anthem in English and / or
British schools would be most appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Wright

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From: Simon Wright

19 November 2008

Dear Tendayi Chitekwe,

On the 5th of November i received a reply from you on my freedom of
information request (2008/0084779). I sent a reply asking for
further information on the same day. I would just like to make sure
this reply was received by yourself and find out if i will get a
response within the next week.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Wright

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Department for Children, Schools and Families

19 November 2008

Dear Mr Wright,
Thank you for your enquiry. Your further email was received and has been
assigned a reference number of 2008/0092464. We receive a large amount of
correspondence and all enquiries are dealt with strictly in the order they
are received. For your information, departmental standards mean that we
have 15 working days to reply to you. I can advise you that the deadline
for our reply to you is 27th November..
Yours sincerely,

Linda Ellis
Public Communications Unit
[1]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2008/0096682.
To correspond by email with the Department for Children, Schools and
Families please contact [2][DCSF request email].

If you have any further queries why not browse our Popular Questions
website. This site has been built to allow you to quickly find the answer
to your question [3]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/popularquestions

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[DCSF request email]
3. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/popularquestions

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Department for Children, Schools and Families

27 November 2008

Dear Mr Wright,
Thank you for your email of 5 November to Tendayi Chitekwe concerning your request for information about
Britain and Citizenship under the Freedom of Information Act.

Regarding the teaching of citizenship education, all teachers who provide citizenship lessons in
maintained schools must meet the same standards as teachers of any other subject. The National Standards
are available via the following web address:

[1]http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/supplyteach...

It is the responsibility of head teachers and governing bodies to ensure that teachers are meeting the
learning needs of their students and delivering the National Curriculum. While the National Curriculum
sets out the key concepts, skills and essential content that must be covered in citizenship Education at
Key Stages 3 and 4, schools have considerable freedom to develop a curriculum that responds to the
personal learning needs of their pupils.

Citizenship education at Key Stages 3 and 4 is statutory for all maintained schools. Private and
independent schools are not bound to follow the National Curriculum, but we find that in most cases they
do. The statutory programme for Citizenship education can be found at the following web address:

[2]http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/key-stages-...

Regarding the teaching of the national anthem in schools, this has never been part of the national
curriculum. In developing the National Curriculum, the Government did consider school curricula in other
countries, however, the teaching of the national anthem was not specifically taken into account. More
information about the history of the national anthem can be found at the following address:

[3]http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page5010....

Yours sincerely,

Kathleen McKeown
Curriculum Specialism Unit
[email address]
[4]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2008/0092464.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/supplyteach...
http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/supplyteach...
2. http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/key-stages-...
3. http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page5010....
http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page5010....
4. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/

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Matt Ford left an annotation (28 November 2008)

Quote-marks Two of the links appear to have been broken in the formatting of this email, they should be:

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/supplyteach...

http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/key-stages-...

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