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Knowledge of Politics


John Simkin
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The ICM opinion poll, carried out to coincide with a speech on citizenship to be given today by the chief inspector of schools, David Bell, questioned teachers as well as students (14-16) about their knowledge of politics.

The poll, commissioned by the schools standards watchdog, Ofsted, showed that most of the teenagers questioned neither knew nor cared who ran the country. It found that only a quarter of them knew that Labour was in government, that the Conservatives were the main opposition and that the Liberal Democrats were the third party.

Four per cent of the pupils surveyed said the Conservatives were in power, while 2% thought the Lib Dems were at the helm. Nearly half of those questioned felt that it was not important for them to know more about what Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories stood for.

The most disturbing fact of the poll was that 7% of the teachers interviewed did not know that the Labour Party was in power. I suppose their only defence was that the government’s policies are so right-wing they thought the Tories must be in power.

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The most disturbing fact of the poll was that 7% of the teachers interviewed did not know that the Labour Party was in power. I suppose their only defence was that the government’s policies are so right-wing they thought the Tories must be in power.

Perhaps there should be a "Citizenship" test to sit along side the ones for ICT, Numeracy and Literacy for trainee teachers B)

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