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24th Aug 2023 12:00pm News

GCSE Citizenship Studies results 2023 - The value of Citizenship

Today we celebrate the teachers and pupils across the UK who will be receiving their GCSE results.

GCSE Citizenship Studies results highlight its value

Despite the recent pressures on teachers and schools up and down the country, Citizenship teachers have displayed determination and resilience to ensure that their pupils receive the best possible support leading up to their GCSE Citizenship Studies exams. Today we celebrate the teachers and pupils across the UK who will be receiving their GCSE results. 

The value of citizenship 

There were 21,813 pupils who sat GCSE Citizenship Studies this year. Although this is a small increase on last year’s figure (+1.6%), since 2017 there has been a sharp increase in entries for GCSE Citizenship Studies (+40% increase from 2017 to 2023). This steep rise underlines the growing number of students passionate about the issues facing theirs and future generations, and highlights the value of the subject in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to take practical steps that contribute to creating positive change.

In recent years we have also seen a rise in the number of schools offering GCSE Citizenship Studies, with the qualification now offered in around 700 schools and colleges, as opposed to just under 500 schools 4 years ago.

As expected, the percentage of students achieving a grade 4/C or above has returned to pre-pandemic levels of 66.1%, although there is a 0.5% increase in the number of students receiving grade 7/A or above.

GCSE Citizenship Studies has grown from strength to strength since its launch in 2016. The motivation of young people as informed, active citizens who are willing to speak out on issues of concern gives us hope that this generation is equipped to create a more inclusive and just society for all.

Liz Moorse
ACT Chief Executive

The future of citizenship

Citizenship continues to be an invaluable subject that explores complex and sensitive issues with students. Issues such as climate change, race equality, global migration and the proliferation of misinformation and conspiracy theories highlight the relevance of the subject now, and for future generations. The fact that active citizenship is such a core part of the GCSE, which is focused on making a positive difference in society, lends further credence to this view. However, we believe that more schools should be offering the qualification and that the government should offer better support and resource for Citizenship teaching as a key subject within a broad and balanced curriculum. ACT will continue to advocate for the advancement and sustainability of the subject while working with schools and education leaders to embed high quality citizenship teaching for every young person.

ACT is also developing a new CPD programme and curriculum resources for non-specialists to help raise standards of the teaching of Citizenship in schools nationwide. Teachers and schools are invited to join our forthcoming GCSE teaching network events, which can be found on our events page. Teachers and school leaders can also download our membership taster pack, which provides examples of our teaching resources and lesson plans.

The beauty of Citizenship education is the joy of seeing the difference that the students' active (citizenship) projects deliver long before results day looms…my proudest moment is witnessing a class of students create a legacy in our school with their project to develop the cultural curriculum. Something that has snowballed into enthusiastic students from KS3 keen to lead a working party to ensure the tradition continues and expands. That is the power of Citizenship. It’s the tangible changes in a school that go beyond grade boundaries!

Lorellie Canning
Citizenship Lead, Stantonbury School, Milton Keynes