Headlines: November 9th, 2006



A new manual has been issued to help people learn how to make a difference to the communities in which they live. The Take Part Framework has been designed to support the proposals set out in the recent Local Government White Paper, which included placing a duty on local authorities to encourage residents to be involved in the decision making process.

The Framework, which is also available as an online resource, offers practical information and advice on opportunities to develop citizenship learning, using real examples. The intention is that Take Part learning programmes will help local people play their full part as active citizens by giving them information, skills and confidence. It is aimed at adults and follows the implementation of the citizenship education curriculum in schools and the citizenship programme for 16 to19 year olds.

The new Framework was launched by Communities and Local Government Minister Baroness Andrews, who said its practical advice would help to breathe life into democratic decision making. “The Government is committed to helping local people have a stronger voice so they can shape their services to address local needs and problems,” she added.

The Framework draws on the lessons from seven learning hubs across the country, which were originally supported by the Home Office as part of the Active Learning for Active Citizenship programme. The hubs have now formed the Take Part network, which will advise and offer support to providers of citizenship learning. Case studies in the manual include the Impact Programme in the West Midlands, concentrating on citizenship skills for women who take part in a six-month programme that involves seven workshops, two residential weekends, a visit to Parliament and a visit to the European Parliament. Other lessons come from the SkillShare programme, in the Tees Valley, which enables people to gain Open College Network qualifications in Effective Community Involvement and Leadership.

The Take Part Framework is an online resource available at http://www.takepart.org