Headlines: December 2nd, 1999

The Government has re-affirmed its intention to use the education system to reverse the tendency for young people not to be interested in politics.It follows publication of the annual British Social Attitudes survey which found that 34 per cent of teenagers had no interest whatever in politics, a rise of seven percentage points since 1994.

This key social values monitor is co-funded by the DfEE. It prompted the call from Education Secretary David Blunkett for citizenship education to boost young people’s interest in politics and democracy.

The Government will be introducing citizenship as a subject into secondary schools with effect from September 2002. It is intended that this, together with the framework for Personal, Social and Health Education, will help young people become fully involved in the life of their schools, neighbourhoods and communities.

Another finding of the survey is that the teenagers who are interested in politics come from better-off backgrounds, intend to remain in education the longest and have parents who are well-educated and community-minded.