DIVERSITY AND CITIZENSHIP
EDUCATION IN ENGLAND
BRITAIN IS A “MATURE DEMOCRACY” which prides itself on its parliamentary form of government developed over centuries and on its deeprooted civil and political liberties. It has also long been a diverse society, although it has only recognized itself as a multicultural nation since the second half of the 20th century, following substantial Black and Asia inmigration. “Britain” refers loosely to the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Great Britain consisting of England, Scotland, and Wales. This chapter focuses on citizenship and citizenship education for this diverse, multiethnic, democratic Britain. The chapter will consider key notions and the development of citizenship and policies on citizenship and citizenship education, especially in England, the largest and most ethnically diverse region in Britain. The recently introduced citizenship education in England will be critically examined, and some broad implications for practice indicated.
England only really started embarking on a national educational system in the late 1830s, with universal elementary education only introduced from about the 1870s. It was not until the Education Act of 1902 that an effective national school system was instituted in England and Wales with the establishment of Local Education Authorities (LEAs). A national curriculum was a major innovation only brought in by the Education Reform Act of 1988 (ERA). The notion of education for citizenship, and the idea that it should be a prescribed part of the