Campaigning 'should be on the school curriculum'

The Sheila McKechnie Foundation has called for campaigning to be taught in schools as part of the national curriculum.

The charity for campaigners says schoolchildren should be given lessons on campaign strategies such as influencing journalists, lobbying MPs and mobilising people at grass-roots level.

"We believe that students need to understand the language of dissent if our democracy is to flourish," said foundation chief executive Claire McMaster. "We fail the next generation if we don't teach them how to influence the decisions that affect their lives."

The foundation wants to see campaigning taught as part of the citizenship element in the national curriculum. It advocates inviting national campaigners to come into the classroom to talk about the impact campaigning can have.

The plan is part of a Manifesto for Campaigning, unveiled yesterday during a discussion on the 'new agenda for campaigning', featuring third sector minister Ed Miliband and Liberty chief Shami Chakrabarti.

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