IARS will be hosting its first Youth Policy Response Group meeting on Monday 11th April 2011. We are inviting all organisations interested in contributing to an important discussion regarding the forthcoming National Curriculum Review Call for Evidence to attend this meeting which will focus specifically on the importance of Public Legal Education (PLE) and Citizenship.  

More information regarding the National Curriculum Review Call for Evidence can be found here; guidance for submitting a response to the Call for Evidence can be found here. Democratic Life - part of the Citizenship Foundation- have produced a form for organisations who wish to show their support for citizenship education to submit to the Department for Education. Please click here to access this form.

The Youth Policy Response Group replaces IARS’ Youth-led Sector Policy Forum which was established at the end of 2009. The main aim of the Forum was to promote the youth-led sector to policy makers; Forum members contributed to a number of consultation responses and policy documents. We believe that this concerted effort put youth-led groups on the map. However, in 2011, we proposed a new format for the Forum; a nimble and focused policy response group chaired by the IARS Director which takes into account the increased pressure on Forum members to deliver more work for less. The main aim of the new look group is to respond to law and policy reform as it happens throughout the year.  

The first meeting will be taking place on Monday 11th April from 10:30am – 12:30pm at IARS’ office in Vauxhall and will provide participants with the opportunity to discuss key points that should be raised in the National Curriculum Call for Evidence regarding PLE and citizenship. Group members and other partner organisations are invited to attend this meeting.  

Our discussion will focus on the following questions with a view to informing a response to the Call for Evidence: 

1. Citizenship is currently a compulsory National Curriculum subject, with a statutory Programme of Study, at Key Stages 3 and 4. In future, do you think citizenship should continue to be a National Curriculum subject? Any comments?

We are proposing to focus discussion on how citizenship education can be improved through drawing on lessons learnt from public legal education and an increased focus on European citizenship.

2. International Comparisons : examples of any jurisdictions that could usefully be examined to inform the new National Curriculum/what features of their national curricula or wider education systems are most significant in explaining their success?

An opportunity for participants to discuss education curricula in European countries with which they are familiar and have evidence that could provide important learning to the UK curriculum, particularly with regards to citizenship education.

3. What research evidence on how children learn provides the most useful insights into how particular knowledge should best be integrated within the National Curriculum Programmes of Study?

With reference to the lessons learnt from studies on legal capability and youth engagement programmes.   

The meeting promises to offer a dynamic discussion into citizenship and PLE to feed into the government’s considerations for curriculum changes. If you would like to attend or have any queries about the Youth Policy Response Group please contact Anwara Ali – a.ali@iars.org.uk,  by Wednesday 23rd March.