Groups attack citizenship class plans

The Government's latest attempt to promote community cohesion has come under fire from pressure groups.

Sustainable Families, which campaigns for local authorities to better promote social cohesion, has likened proposed citizenship classes to ‘straw into the wind'. 

The LGA, the campaign organisation for local government, has also questioned the measures. ‘It is not clear if these classes will make a difference. There are no simple solutions, quick fixes or easy answers. Combating anxiety, apathy, animosity, radicalism and fundamentalism will take time, effort and hard work from leaders of every section of the community,' chief PRO Richard Stokoe said.

Speaking at the national adult services conference in Brighton last week, Education Secretary Alan Johnson announced citizenship and diversity lessons will become part of the basic literacy and numeracy courses deigned to help people enter the labour market and to tackle social exclusion.

The measures arrive at a time of fierce debate around Muslim women wearing the veil.

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