A report by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the University of Essex, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has suggested that youngsters have been displaying a lack of confidence with politicians and their ability to address key issues that will impact them. These key issues concern the unemployment rates, the environment and the economy.
This claim comes after the NFER tracked a sample of students from the age of 11over the past 10 years who received compulsory citizenship education in a longitudinal study.
Andy Thornton, chief executive of the Citizenship Foundation, said:
“This goes to the heart of the education system itself. Education needs to boost young people’s knowledge, making sense of the world and giving them tools to transform it.”
It was found that this group of youngsters while at school had a higher political and economic awareness however general levels of interest in politics and support for a political party were found to be lower. There was also a universal low level of trust in politicians across the board.
He goes on to say,
“We believe the government’s proposals to remove citizenship education from the National Curriculum threatens to make it worse. Once they comprehend their rights and responsibilities young people move into adulthood more readily and more capably. Keeping this route open is vital to social participation: enabling individuals to flourish in a unified nation.”
By Elizabeth Johnson