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Symposium: Can citizenship education address the social gap in political engagement?

 Registration is closed for this event
UCL, Roehampton and ACT Symposium for citizenship education teachers and trainee teachers supported by Nuffield Foundation.

This symposium will examine what schools can do to reduce the social gap in political engagement.


Research repeatedly finds that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are less politically engaged than those from privileged families. The consequences of this are that certain voices are heard more than others inside the school and within society more broadly.

This social gap opens up rapidly during early adolescence in England, according to recent research funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

In this symposium we examine whether schools can curb this trend. What can schools and particularly citizenship education teachers do to reduce the social gap in political engagement or to prevent it from emerging entirely? We explore this question in an expert panel and in discussion groups.

You will leave the session with:

  • a deeper understanding of the issues created by the social gap in political engagement. You will leave with practical approaches and inclusive practices that schools and citizenship education teachers in particular can use to promote the political engagement of disadvantaged young people.

Session Date:

Monday 13 June, 2022 (15.45 - 19.30)


Room 804

UCL Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way

London, WC1H 0AL


  • Arrival, tea and coffee (15.45-16:00)

  • Welcome (16:00-16:05)

Opening remarks from Liz Moorse.

  • The social gap in political engagement (16:05-16:30)

Prof. Jan Germen Janmaat will explain the Nuffield funded project and main overall findings. Prof. Bryony Hoskins will present the findings of the paper on inequalities and political engagement.

  • Panel discussion (16:30-17:20)

The expert panel will be chaired by Prof. Leah Bassel. Five speakers will debate the question what schools can do reduce the social gap in political engagement

Prof. Leah Bassel (facilitator), Prof. Bryony Hoskins, Christopher Champion, Maggie Browning, Rebecca Earnshaw and Prof. Jan Germen Janmaat.

  • Coffee break (17:20-17:30)

  • Break-out groups (17:30-18:30)

Prof. Leah Bassel will facilitate the break-out groups. The audience will be split up in four to seven groups who will discuss the same question as the panel. Each group will appoint a rapporteur who will report the key points of the discussion back to the whole group.

  • Reception (18:30-19:30)

Speakers Bios:

  • Prof. Bryony Hoskins, Professor of Comparative Social Science at Roehampton University -  Bryony is an internationally renowned expert on political socialisation specialising in political engagement across Europe and the Middle East.
  • Prof. Leah Bassel, Professor of Sociology at Roehampton University - Leah’s research interests include the political sociology of migration, intersectionality and citizenship. She has explored these topics in England, Scotland, France and Canada.
  • Prof. Jan Germen Janmaat, Professor of Political Socialisation at UCL Institute of Education -  Jan Germen is interested in the role that education, broadly conceived, can play in fostering civic values and behaviours.
  • Rebecca Earnshaw, CEO of Voice 21 - Rebecca is especially interested in oracy policy and partnership opportunities
  • Maggie Browning, Councillor at the Borough of Southwark and former Citizenship teacher - Maggie is a secondary school teacher and Labour councillor. She taught Citizenship and Politics in London schools from 2013. She is currently taking a break from the classroom to complete a masters in education policy at the IOE. She is passionate about supporting young people to be politically active and engaged in the democratic process
  • Christopher Champion, Teacher of Spanish, French and PSHE at Harris Invictus Academy Croydon. Christopher's expertise at work is in languages but also in Religious Studies as he holds an undergraduate degree in it. He teaches Citizenship as part of the school's weekly PSHRE program
  • Liz Moorse, Chief Executive of ACT - Liz has over 20 years of experience of working on national education policy in England and implementing Citizenship and democracy education in schools across the UK.

Event Fees: 

  • Free for all attendees

Who should attend? 

  • Citizenship education and Social Science teachers
  • Trainee teachers of citizenship education and Social Science subjects
  • Students, researcher and educators interested in this topic


June 13th, 2022 3:45 PM through  7:30 PM
Room 804
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom
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