Political Education and Active Citizenship

Mar 7, 2018 | Assembly Business | 0 comments

Plenary 7th March 2018

13:57
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Gareth Bennett AM

Gareth Bennett AM

Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)

Will the Cabinet Secretary provide an update on political and citizenship education in Welsh schools?

Kirsty Williams AM

Kirsty Williams AM

Title: Cabinet Secretary for Education Party: Welsh Liberal Democrats

Thank you, Mr Bennett. Learners have the opportunity to study politics and citizenship as part of the Welsh baccalaureate and in personal and social education. Ensuring learners become ethical, informed citizens is one of the four purposes of the new curriculum. Political and citizenship education will be central to supporting this.

Gareth Bennett AM

Gareth Bennett AM

Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)

Yes, thanks for the answer. I think that, with the possibility of 16- and 17-year-olds getting the vote in Wales, there may be a stronger case now for improving the provision of political education in the school system. Indeed, many young campaigners who want the vote have called for that. So I wonder, going forward, is there likely to be any change, do you feel, to the provision of political education?

Kirsty Williams AM

Kirsty Williams AM

Title: Cabinet Secretary for Education Party: Welsh Liberal Democrats

Well, indeed. The development of the new curriculum provides a very real opportunity to ensure a broad and balanced education for children and young people across Wales, and I would include in that political and citizenship education. Indeed, as the mother of a 16-year-old myself, who is very anxious to have the opportunity to be able to have a democratic right and cast her vote and is incredibly—sometimes, much to my horror—interested in politics, I think that there is much more that we can do. One of the purposes of our curriculum, as I said, is to have ethical, informed citizens and to be able to give our young people the skills, for instance, to understand that there will be words on the side of the bus and to interrogate exactly what those might appear to be or appear to promise and to be able to act accordingly, is very welcome.