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Teachers' e-News: September 2014

Dear ,

I hope you have had an enjoyable summer break, and also that you and your students at  had a successful results day(s) last month!

This is the first monthly PSA Teachers' e-Newsletter of the academic year, which begins an exciting 12 months ahead as we continue to develop our offering to schools.

I know many teachers continue to pick up e-mails during the summer, but if you missed August's Teachers' e-Newsletter, which outlined some exciting developments that have been taking place for the PSA, members can find previous e-Newsletters online here.

Teaching Political Studies Teachers' Workshop

We are pleased to announce the hosting of the inaugural Teaching Political Studies Teachers' Workshop to be held at the University of Huddersfield on Friday 24th October 2014 from 9.30am to 4pm.

The workshop will bring together leading political education specialists to discuss the teaching of politics in secondary and further education schools and colleges.

It will feature a range of presentations alongside a keynote session by Dr Andrew Mycock, University of Huddersfield and co-editor of Beyond the Youth Citizenship Commission: Young People and Politics.

The workshop will focus on the development of effective pedagogic practices and strategies to enhance political literacies, skills and participation amongst young people in the classroom and across their schools and communities.

Registration is now open online here. Lunch and refreshments provided and you can view the provisional programme online here.

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis - so register now to avoid disappointment!

Parliament Week 2014

Parliament Week is a programme of events and activities that connect people with parliamentary democracy in the UK. There’s something for everyone, whether you attend or organise an event or simply take part in the conversation online.

Organisations across the UK run events and activities throughout Parliament Week which explore what parliamentary democracy means to them and their community.

Parliament Week is coordinated by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords. All events can be found online here.

PSA's "Hardcopy or #Hashtag?" Parliament Week Initiative

The PSA are once again organising one of the showcase Parliament Week events on the afternoon of 17th November 2014.

The event, “Hardcopy or #Hashtag?”, is a debate involving up to 120 young people exploring their vision for a digital parliament, led by actor and film maker Femi Oyeniran.

The ideas will be generated from a series of regional (university) based workshops which the PSA are facilitating between 8 September and 10 October. A selection of these students will present their ideas during the main event to the young audience.

Full details are availible online here.  We would love for as many as possible of our member schools to be involved with this initiative - but please note that capacity is limited for all events.

Please register your interest with James Ludley and interested parties will be contacted in due course.

Don't miss out on our school video competition!

There is still time to enter this year’s PSA Student Short Video Competition.

Returning for the fourth year, we have teamed up with YouGov to ask your students to explore the question: "Europe - in or out?"

So far we have had lots of interest from schools and students about taking part. Encouraging young people to become more engaged in politics is really important and the competition has been blogged or publicised by many MPs and politicians from around the country.

For last year’s winning entry, all the rules and how to enter, please click here. The deadline for submissions is October 17th 2014.

Young People's views on the future of the UK’s constitution

Graham Allen MP, Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, is calling on teachers and students to consider participating in an exciting opportunity to get involved in a consultation on the future of the UK’s constitution, and where possible build it into class work this term. Click here for more information.

The full report is available online here.

Decoupling of the AS and A-level specifications remains a concern

The PSA has outlined our concerns regarding the ongoing A-level reforms for Government and Politics in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The statistical data released by Ofqual for the A2 and AS-level entries this summer only cements the growing concerns for the co-teachability of the AS and A-level specifications.

You can read more about why the PSA feels this is the case online here.  I am very interested in hearing your views regarding this important issue, so please do drop me an email.

“Scotland deliberates”: An interactive conversation about the #indyref debate

Scotland goes to the polls on the 18th of September to decide whether or not to become an independent nation. There has been lots of coverage of the merits of the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ positions. But what about the wider public deliberation?

The PSA's Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group will be tackling the important questions in the first of an occasional series of Google Hangouts. Schools and teachers are welcome join the conversation.

The hangout will happen at 2pm on Thursday 11 September. Details about how to watch and take part are available online here. Or join the conversation with @psademocracy on Twitter by using the hashtags #indyref #scotsdeliberate

Keeping in touch...

During the summer the PSA moved into our new Head Office.  We’re now located at:

113a Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6HJ.

Our main telephone number has also changed and you can reach the new office at 020 7321 2545.

I’m always keen to hear from you, so please keep in touch or let me know how we can serve you better. If you feel any colleagues would be interested in this e-Newsletter, please forward them a copy.

With very best wishes,

James Ludley
Programme Development Officer
PSA Head Office, 113a Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6HJ.