Citizenship education in the United Kingdom: Comparing England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Lee Jerome*, Edda Sant, Alan Britton, Lesley Emerson, Sue James, Matthew Milliken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: In this country case study the authors undertake a comparative
analysis of citizenship education across the four nations of the UK. The
curriculum and contexts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland are first described. Then the article considers how each national
example engages with fundamental expectations of citizenship education,
specifically in relation to questions of citizenship status and the
relationship between citizens and the state; political identity; and active
citizenship processes.
Approach: Drawing on the authors’ collective experience and insights
into policy and practice in each nation, we started with a ‘generative
conversation’ to identify key issues for inclusion in this case study.
Findings: The article unearths a variety of constraints and problems, and
situates these in a broader policyscape in which policy accretion and
policy approximation generate a permissive culture, which has
undermined the promise of citizenship education as an entitlement for all
young people.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social Science Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2022


  • citizenship education, curriculum policy, curriculum enactment


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