The Citizens’ Curriculum is an innovative, holistic approach to ensure people have the English, maths, digital, civic, health and financial capabilities they need.
This approach taps into what motivates adults to learn, through giving learners a voice in co-designing curriculum content and careful contextualisation, ensuring that people are learning skills which are relevant to their lives and work.
In the UK around 1 in 6 adults struggle with reading and writing, and around 1 in 4 adults find maths difficult. In addition, 850,000 people are not proficient in speaking English and one half of adults in England and Northern Ireland is unable to use computers effectively.
This increasingly locks people out of opportunity and society. Only one in two people with poor literacy are in work, compared to more than eight in ten people with those skills. Increasingly many public services are ‘digital by default’ requiring a combination of digital and literacy skills to access them. People with lower levels of literacy numeracy are less likely to vote, and face barriers to everyday community and social interactions and activities.
Too few people take basic skills courses each year, and the numbers have fallen in recent years. The Citizens’ Curriculum aims to help change this. We argue that local and national commissioners of learning provision should build this approach into their plans, and that providers, practitioners and other stakeholders design provision that embeds this approach.