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Rural Issues

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in which subjects (a) rural and (b) countryside issues feature in the National Curriculum at (i) primary and (ii) secondary level. [119150]

Rural and countryside issues are covered within the National Curriculum through citizenship and geography.

Through geography, a foundation subject studied by all pupils aged 5 to 14; pupils investigate different places and environments, including the countryside within the United Kingdom and abroad. Through citizenship, a statutory requirement in secondary schools from September 2002, pupils should be taught about the wider issues and challenges of global interdependence and responsibility, including sustainable development and Local Agenda 21. This gives teachers in rural schools the opportunity to incorporate issues of a rural nature in lessons.

From October 2003, schools opting for Specialist School status in any one of the 10 specialisms will be able to build in a rural dimension into their chosen specialism. Target setting subjects, which schools may utilise as part of the rural dimension, include: GCSE Geography, GCSE Environmental Science, GCSE Rural and Agricultural Science, GNVQ or GCSE Leisure and Tourism and GNVQ Land and Environment.