Debates between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Barran during the 2019 Parliament

Schools: Citizenship Education

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Barran
Wednesday 29th June 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the teaching of citizenship education in schools.

Baroness Barran Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education (Baroness Barran) (Con)
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My Lords, citizenship education is considered as part of Ofsted school inspections. In addition, Ofsted plans to undertake a review of personal development in schools in England. The review, which will include consideration of citizenship education, will involve analysis of inspection evidence, and culminate in the publication of a national report on personal development later this year. This will be similar to reviews that Ofsted has published for other subjects.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB)
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I thank the Minister for that reply. The report The Ties that Bind, from the Select Committee chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, made a number of recommendations on citizens’ education. Recommendation 16 said:

“The Government has allowed citizenship education in England to degrade to a parlous state. The decline of the subject must be addressed in its totality as a matter of urgency.”


In their response to that recommendation, the Government simply indicated what is in the subject and what schools may do, but said absolutely nothing about what the Government would do, so I very much hope there will be not only a report but some action after that report.

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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The Government share the noble and right reverend Lord’s aspiration, and the aspiration of the committee to which he refers. We want our children to leave school with the knowledge, skills and values that prepare them to be active citizens, and good citizenship education obviously can help to achieve that. We look forward to the report and acting on it when we receive it.

Professor Kathleen Stock: Resignation

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Barran
Tuesday 16th November 2021

(2 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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Universities have long-standing duties in relation to freedom of speech in law. They have to balance those with their duties under the Equality Act and other bits of legislation. They will be expected to take all reasonable, practicable steps to address any constraints on freedom of speech and uphold it in future.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB)
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What happened to Professor Kathleen Stock was deeply dismaying and worrying for our society. Universities should be both a safeguard and a focus of rational debate about contentious issues. I was glad to hear from the Minister that the Office for Students is setting up an inquiry. As this is not just a local difficulty but something fundamental to the future of a civilised society, will she bring its recommendations to Parliament so that we can see that there will be adequate action in strengthening the role of academics in free debate?

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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The noble and right reverend Lord makes a good point. I am sure that he will have seen the letter written by over 200 academics that was published in the Sunday Times last month, making the point that, actually, junior academics face the most chilling impacts of what is going on. Of course, he will know that the Office for Students is independent, and how it presents its report is therefore up to it, but I would be happy to answer questions on it, should they arise.