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Education: Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans

Question for Department for Education

UIN 126579, tabled on 21 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that schools teach young people about (a) British veterans and (b) the Armed Forces Covenant.

Answered on

28 February 2022

We want all children to leave school with the knowledge, skills and values that will prepare them to be active citizens in modern Britain.

Teaching about the British constitutional system, political issues, different viewpoints and the way in which pupils can engage in our democratic society form an essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum, and are covered within citizenship education. Citizenship education is mandatory in secondary maintained schools as part of the national curriculum. Primary maintained schools and all academies are encouraged to cover citizenship as part of their duty to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum.

In citizenship, pupils will learn about the role of Parliament and how citizens can take part in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond. They will also learn about the role of police, courts and justice, free press, human rights and international law, as well as the governments of other countries.

Whilst we do not direct schools to teach about British veterans and the Armed Forces Covenant, schools are free to do so in the context of their citizenship curriculum. Teachers are also able to teach about Britain’s constitutional system, British veterans and the armed forces within other subjects. For instance, the history curriculum can cover political and social movements past and present, as can other subjects such as English when the context is right.