PUBLIC SECTOR: DfES to promote citizenship lessons

The Department for Education and Skills has hired external PR support to promote the launch of classroom lessons on citizenship.

Fishburn Hedges has been hired to promote the subject, which has been added to the national curriculum for the first time.

It is hoped lessons will provide better structure to political literacy, social and moral responsibility and community involvement teaching already taking place in secondary schools.

F-H will target secondary school governors, parents, teachers and pupils through media and stakeholder relations.

F-H director Fiona Campbell, who leads the account, says the campaign will involve three major PR pushes over the next six months, with the first this summer in the build-up to its launch at the start of the school year in September.

She said: 'The formal introduction of citizenship is an opportunity for young people to actively explore relevant and sometimes controversial social and moral issues as well as develop a grater understanding of our political system.

'Our task is to communicate to students, teachers and parents the benefits of citizenship teaching,' she added.

The DfES is already promoting the introduction of citizenship online.

- Geronimo is this week launching a regional PR offensive for the DfES's Connexions support service for pupils. Aimed at 13 to 19-year-olds, the service provides a personal adviser to pupils to help on issues ranging from drug abuse to bullying. So far 28 schemes are live.

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