Latest results spark revival of campaign to save citizenship A level

Campaigners have revived their campaign to save the citizenship A level qualification, which will cease to be offered from 2017.

Exam board AQA decided to drop the qualification earlier this year, but the recent A level results have given those against the move fresh hope.

Campaigners including the Citizenship Foundation, the Association for Citizenship Teaching, and Democratic Life had urged AQA not to go ahead with its plans.

They were unsuccessful in persuading the awarding body to keep the course, with the decision being blamed on falling student numbers – AQA said that the numbers taking the course had halved since 2011.

It means that the last exams for students taking the current qualification will be in June 2018.

However, the 2015 A level results show that 2,914 students achieved the qualification (630 at A level and 2,284 at AS level), causing campaigners to renew their efforts. A new online petition has now been launched.

They say AQA’s decision means that citizenship will be the only national curriculum subject without an A level.

They also point to figures showing that more than 21,500 students achieved a citizenship GCSE in 2015, a 10 per cent rise on 2014.

The petition, published on the website, states: “The A level figures have been released.

The results show that A level citizenship studies is far from being the subject with the smallest intake: 2,914 students took either the A or AS level.

“By comparison, A level archaeology had fewer than half that – 1,238 entries – and yet no-one is proposing to drop it.

“Ofqual will consider reinstating citizenship A level if an exam board wants to offer it. So, we have revived this petition and hope to increase the level of support to change some minds.”

A statement this week from Democratic Life added: “The need for citizenship education in the UK has never been greater: young people are disaffected with formal politics; a reduction in the voting age to 16 looks increasingly likely; and schools are required to prevent extremism and engage their students with ‘British values’, including democracy and the rule of law.

“Citizenship education combines academic knowledge and understanding with practical action. It makes an excellent contribution to the development of employability skills and preparation for higher education.

“We call on the exam boards to offer a new A level in citizenship studies from 2017. And we call on ministers to intervene and retain the qualification.”

AQA continues to offer a GCSE in citizenship studies and has said it is developing a new GCSE citizenship qualification for first teaching in 2017.

To read or sign the petition, visit