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Students celebrate and teachers speak proudly about their 2016 GCSE Citizenship Studies success

Post date: 
Thu, 25/08/2016 - 14:00

Congratulations to the 24,000 students who achieved their GCSEs in Citizenship Studies today (25 August 2016), and to their teachers of course.

A total of 18,720 candidates took full course Citizenship Studies and 5059 took the short course this summer, compared with 21,628 and 11,564 in 2015. Citizenship Studies as a proportion of the total number of GCSEs sat has seen just a small decline.

This reduction in overall candidate numbers this summer can be explained in part by the continued push towards Ebacc GCSE subjects in some schools, whilst elsewhere teachers have told us they are waiting to begin teaching the new GCSE Citizenship Studies specifications from September 2016. The reformed full course GCSE Citizenship Studies qualifications are available now from the three main Awarding Organisations, AQA, Edexcel and OCR.

Other non-Ebacc subjects have also seen a decline from 2015 levels, with Design & Technology, Music and Art & Design also seeing a reduction in candidate numbers. Similar explanations are the likely cause of the decline.

A number of ACT Teacher members have been in touch to tell us why GCSE Citizenship Studies is so important to them.

Leigh Canning, Head of Citizenship, St. Bede’s and St. Joseph’s Catholic College, Bradford said,
“In our changing modern world, post-Brexit and in the midst of political turmoil within our country's parties, Citizenship Education is more important than ever. Citizenship education enables students to question the world around them and learn how to hold others to account in a way that is vital for them as they grow into our next generation of voters and leaders. GCSE Citizenship enables students to practice and develop such skills in a safe and nurturing environment. Congratulations to all our GCSE Citizenship students out there who have achieved great results, the hard work has paid off and, as they say, the world is your oyster. So, be the force of change for the better and use the skills you have learnt wisely.”

Helen Blachford, Curriculum Leader for PSCHE, Priory School, Hampshire said,
"If the last few months of political turmoil in the UK hasn't clearly demonstrated the need for high quality Citizenship education I don't know what will! Helping young people to make sense of the world they live in, have the ability to make informed decisions and critically evaluate the information presented to them 24/7 has never been more crucial. And more than that - actually equipping young people with the skills they need to be active citizens who can make a real difference to their communities - be they local, national or global - is a truly inspiring part of Citizenship education."

The new GCSEs in Citizenship Studies count towards the DfE Progress 8 measure of attainment, which is now the key measure in the DfE school performance tables. Citizenship Studies also remains a compulsory National Curriculum subject at key stages 3 and 4.

ACT has recently awarded its Citizenship Teaching Resources Quality Mark to the three new GCSE textbooks. We look forward to continuing to work with teachers and schools across the country to support the new specifications.

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