Political literacy a 'peripheral feature' of secondary education

Less than a third of secondary schools offer weekly lessons in politics or citizenship education – with a fifth offering no provision at all.

Furthermore, only one per cent of teachers feel prepared to teach politics, despite six in 10 feeling responsible for developing their students’ political literacy skills.

Tied to this, less than a fifth of teachers said they felt “very confident” when teaching sensitive or controversial issues and a majority said their CPD and teacher training offered no preparation for teaching political literacy.

The research is based on a survey of 3,300 secondary school teachers and has been published in a new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Political Literacy (Weinberg, 2021).

The report comes at a time when politics dominants many areas of our lives – from Brexit to climate change. And yet, as the report points out, we are seeing declining voting rates among young people in many Western democracies.

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