A level Citizenship Studies should not be allowed to disappear
The A level results published today (13 August 2015) show numbers of students achieving the A level in Citizenship have held up well, yet the qualification is being allowed to disappear after 2018.
ACT and Democratic Life partners have been lobbying to keep A level Citizenship Studies since the announcement by AQA earlier this year that they had no plans to redevelop the qualification. The results show A level Citizenship Studies is far from being the smallest entry subject with 2914 students (630 A level and 2284 AS level) achieving the qualification today. By comparison A Level Archaeology with just 1238 entries (419 A Level and 819 AS Level) is to survive. Ofqual the exams regulator are currently in the process of approving new GCSEs and A levels following government reforms. Head of Ofqual, Glenys Stacey said, "We are not ruling out the future development of any subject."
Teachers across the country remain very concerned that their students will be denied the opportunity to continue to study the subject at a higher level and achieve a qualification that is respected by Universities and employers alike. If the situation does not change it will leave Citizenship as the only National Curriculum subject without an A level qualification, a situation that seems to be at odds with the DFE's drive for greater 'academic' rigour in subject teaching. The current qualification also requires students to undertake active citizenship which is seen as key to government agendas on developing 'Character' and 'British Values'.
Earlier this year ACT President, David Blunkett held talks with AQA about their plans. ACT has also contacted the other Awarding Organisations to see if they are willing to take on the qualification if AQA do not review their position and will continue discussions with the DFE about this issue. The Democratic Life petition to Keep A Level Citizenship has received the support of high profile politicians as well as many University academics including Matt Flinders, Founder of the Crick Centre for Understanding Politics at University of Sheffield and Chair of the Political Studies Association, and Professor Jon Tonge former Chair of the government's Youth Citizenship Commission.