Empowering the next generation

A guest post on behalf of Legal Futures Associate CILEx Regulation by Richard John, director of partnerships and communications at Young Citizens

John: Our biggest challenge yet

Public legal education (PLE) is a mandatory part of the national curriculum; however, a lack of trained citizenship teachers means that the quality of legal education in schools is in sharp decline.

Young Citizens (formerly Citizenship Foundation) wants to redress this trend and help young people understand that the rule of law is a vital component of becoming an empowered and responsible citizen. You can make a difference.

Since 1989, Young Citizens has been supporting young people’s PLE through the provision of high-quality teaching and learning resources, exposure to mock trial competitions in court houses, and brokering lawyers into the classroom.

To celebrate its 30th year, the education charity has set its biggest challenge yet – wanting to reach more young people across the UK by partnering with friends from the legal community.

Later this year, it will be launching a Legal Matching Service: an online platform that will pair legal professionals with secondary schools looking for additional support to deliver different aspects of the law.

All legal volunteers will have access to training videos and specially created learning resources, to ensure they feel confident operating in a classroom environment and running interactive sessions with young people.

What do the sessions involve?

Volunteers will be matched with schools based on the distance from their office and will run a one-hour session with a class of young people looking at different areas of the law.

There are currently 12 topical issues within the resource suite, ranging from employment law and migration to consumer law and social media. All of these resources contain the legal content you need so you don’t have to be an expert in any of these specific legal areas.

Your role will be to facilitate debate and discussion among the students to get them to examine how the law impacts their everyday.

Young Citizens’ mission is to empower young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to become active members of society, and learning about the law and their rights and responsibilities as a citizen is a key step in this process.

Young Citizens believes that the Legal Matching Service will help the charity create a step-change in reaching thousands of students, giving them the opportunity to learn about the UK’s legal system from the very people who practice it daily.

To find out more, or to register your interest in this unique volunteering experience please sign up here.

NB: The Young Citizens website is currently under development, but volunteers will be updated once the Legal Matching Service is live so they can complete a profile and connect with a suitable school.


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