Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Teenagers Could Take Citizenship Pledge at 18

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Teenagers Could Take Citizenship Pledge at 18

Article excerpt

Byline: BEN LEAPMAN

YOUNG people celebrating their 18th birthdays could be asked to take part in a citizenship ceremony to mark their passage into adulthood, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said today.

The events may be modelled on affirmation ceremonies held in Australia and similar citizenship ceremonies in some parts of the US.

A pilot scheme for the UK will be drawn up over the next nine months, said Mr Clarke, to recognise young people gaining the right to vote and greater independence from their parents.

A pilot Citizenship Day will be staged in October to act as a "focal point for activities that promote inclusive citizenship" said a Home Office document published today.

Mr Clarke announced the idea as part of a major crossgovernment plan to increase race equality and community cohesion.

Under the same plan, pupils from different backgrounds and different schools will be encouraged to learn and socialise together under new "foundation partnerships".

Mr Clarke also announced that race-hate laws are to be tightened up. …

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