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Citizenship Essentials - helping you develop high quality provision

Our Citizenship Essentials will help Citizenship subject leaders and teachers plan or update their Citizenship curriculum provision to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum for Citizenship in England.

Below are links to key ACT resources, some of which are free for the public to access and some of which can be accessed through association membership. This selection will help Citizenship subject leaders and teachers plan and update their Citizenship provision. 

A number of the resources above are member-only.  If you are not yet a member and would like to access our full range of resources, alongside other member benefits such as our journal, direct support and advice and discounted rates for events, visit our page on ACT membership.

If you have any further queries on planning a Citizenship education programme, our expert teachers can provide over-the-phone or email advice to members. Contact us



The Citizenship Programme of Study for Key Stages 3-4
The National Curriculum Programme of Study for Citizenship education at key stages 3-4 published by the DfE

ACT guidance and explanatory notes for the Citizenship PoS KS3-4 (member only)
Guidance prepared by ACT to support the National Curriculum for Citizenship in secondary schools

The Citizenship Programme of Study for Key Stages 1-2
A non-statutory curriculum framework to help plan Citizenship provision in primary schools


Curriculum planning, personal development and the Ofsted framework (member only)
Presentations, materials and resources shared at ACT's CPD day in July 2019 in London. Includes:

  • Curriculum planning with a purpose – intent, implementation, impact
  • Planning for high impact Citizenship and personal development
  • Making learning live - from personal development to active citizens

A Big Picture for planning outstanding Citizenship education
A multimedia tool to help teachers and schools plan their curriculum and evaluate outcomes for pupils

Principles of effective Citizenship education  These principles help teachers and education publishers consider the features of high quality Citizenship education when planning the curriculum or a teaching resource to support the curriculum.

Lesson planning and observation tool (member only)
To help you plan, evaluate and review the quality of Citizenship teaching in lessons

Self-evaluation Tool for Citizenship education (for ACT Quality Standard participants only)
A tool for primary and secondary schools to review and improve their Citizenship provision. Available when working towards the ACT Quality Standard Award for Schools or ACT Quality Standard Award for Colleges and FE.)


Citizenship Lessons for year 7-11 150 ready to use Citizenship lessons designed by Citizenship teachers.

Having a Say - suffrage and teaching equality
Developed by ACT with support from the Historical Association. These materials are designed to inspire and engage students in democracy, as well as help them to explore issues of suffrage and equality through historical and contemporary campaigning.

The Prevent Duty and Controversial Issues: creating a curriculum response through Citizenship
Guidance for Teachers, Heads, Senior Leaders and Governors. Written and developed by the Expert Subject Advisory Group for Citizenship.

The ACT Building Resilience Project
Teaching strategies, schemes of work, lesson plans and resources developed by teachers to build children's criticality and resilience to extremism and being drawn into terrorism.

The Deliberative Classroom: Topical Debating Resources and Teacher Guidance
Resources to support teachers in leading knowledge based discussions and debates with students on topical issues relating to fundamental British values.

Media Literacy Our Media Literacy Education work began in earnest in April 2020 to create a series of educational interventions to counter misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the longer term. 

ACT Quality Marked Citizenship Teaching Resources
In addition to ACT resources, we’ve also highlighted the best on the market to help your teaching.

National Curriculum 2014 Resources Digest for Teachers
This resources and materials digest was created by teachers, for teachers, to support Citizenship.

ACT Journal ACT’s journal has in-depth features, news and resources for all those involved with citizenship education. Previous versions of the journal are available to read by non members, members are sent a printed copy of the journal twice a year. 


ACTive Citizenship Award Scheme
First News and ACT have come together to create the First News ACTive Citizenship Award Scheme for Schools to celebrate and acknowledge positive social changes children are making in their communities through active citizenship. Includes a pupil toolkit and curriculum guidance for teachers.


Assessment toolkit
Guidance developed by the Expert Group for Citizenship on how to assess and make progress in Citizenship.


Citizenship Matters Briefing for Senior Leaders
This short briefing provided by ACT provides senior leaders in schools with key information about Citizenship, its status in the curriculum and the new Ofsted inspection framework for schools. It sets out the requirements upon all schools to make provision for Citizenship, and how the subject relates to other important national policies.

Citizenship Leadership - presentations and other useful documents (member only)
Does SLT really know what Citizenship is? Do you have time on the curriculum to cover what you need to? How can you make your subject really transformative? Access a series of useful resources, whether you are the lone Citizenship teacher or leading a team of non-specialists.

CitizBite! How to deliver pint sized Citizenship. (member only)
These materials are derived from a workshop held at the ACT National Conference 2017 and include suggestions of models that teachers might adopt.


Opportunities for Economic and Finance Education in Citizenship
This curriculum framework will help you think about the opportunities for teaching Economic and Finance Education (EFE) in Citizenship.

Teaching democracy in Citizenship - a summary
This Summary provides an overview of the knowledge and understanding about democracy that should be developed through the subject of Citizenship.

A series of topic guides (member only)
Five topic guides on the Electoral system, the Constitution, Active citizenship, Finance and the economy, Justice and the law

ACT curriculum briefings (member only)
Special briefings on the contribution of Citizenship to SMSC development and the EU, Europe and the UK


We deliver professional development, training, conferences and tailored programmes of school based CPD. We also work with our Teaching Ambassadors and Council to provide peer to peer support including regional hub meetings and teachmeets.

CPD, training and events
Find out more about upcoming events.

Tell us what you need
Complete our short form to let us know of your requirements, or call us on 07395 308 806.

Regional Citizenship Hubs
ACT Citizenship Teaching Ambassadors are building regional networks of committed and expert subject leaders who will work together to support Citizenship teachers and teaching in their region. Join your hub.


Become a Citizenship Specialist Leader of Education
If you are a middle or senior leader in a school with Citizenship teaching expertise you can apply to become a Citizenship Specialist Leader of Education.

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