After being co-opted by the APPG for Democratic Participation as Lead Fellow for Citizenship, Crick Centre associate James Weinberg has commissioned a report evidencing the research and expertise of his colleagues on the APPG’s Political Literacy Oversight Group. As chair of this group, Weinberg works with policy makers, academics and NGOs to scrutinise the work of the Minister for the Constitution, the National Citizens Service, and the Department for Education. PLOG also provides a constructive home for coordination and collaboration between industry experts. It is hoped that this report will be of relevance to a wide range of actors interested in education and politics.
After the curriculum reforms of 2014, A Level Citizenship was axed as a statutory subject for 16-18 year olds. As of 2017, the qualification will no longer be offered by exam boards. To start to fill this gap, the Crick Centre has worked with the Association for Citizenship Teaching and the Political Studies Association, to create an Extended Project Qualification guidance document for Active Citizenship projects. This guidance document has been endorsed by AQA and is now available for Secondary School teachers who supervise the EPQ
The success of Citizens’ Assemblies suggests that, far from being anti-political, members of the public were very keen to engage in discussions about the future of the United Kingdom, in general, and about English decentralisation, in particular. Furthermore, the findings of project suggests that deliberative assemblies can deliver informed public engagement that can add value to the policy-making process and potentially bring added depth and legitimacy to the decision-making process.
This 2015 article by Felicity Matthews and Matthew Flinders followed the British Academy-funded “Constitutional Crossroads and Coalition Politics” research project, which explored the implications of UK coalition government following the 2010 general election. Published in Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Matthews and Flinders focus on the parliamentary scrutiny of public appointments in the UK and reveals how select committees have accrued increasing powers to challenge ministerial appointments and how this has resulted in a series of unintended consequences that raise critical concerns regarding the overall added-value of pre-appointment scrutiny.
A further output from the British Academy-funded “Constitutional Crossroads and Coalition Politics” research project, Felicity Matthews’ article was the first complete in-depth analysis of the 2010-2015 Coalition Government’s record on the constitution. Published in British Politics in 2015, it focused on the gap between rhetoric and reform, and the way in which constitutional traditions have confounded the ability to effectively manage the tensions that exist within the UK’s uneasy settlement.