As part of Justice Week 2020 (24-28 February), Young Citizens is calling all schools in England and Wales to delivery of ‘The Big Legal Lesson‘. More than 40,000 young people in over 440 schools are already expected to participate in the biggest public legal education event of its kind on the fundamentals of the justice system in England and Wales.
Young Citizens created the classroom resources in partnership with global law firm Allen and Overy, so teachers in primary and secondary schools could use age-appropriate content and activities for key stages 1-4 (pupils aged 5-16). The classroom resources look at the fundamentals of the rule of law, and the role of parliament, government and the justice system. It will be an ‘entry-level’ resource, suitable for those children and young people with the least understanding of the rule of law and justice.
Young Citizens want hundreds more schools to sign up to run a legal lesson for their children during Justice Week 2020.
Tom Franklin, CEO of Young Citizens: “Every young person should have the opportunity to learn about the justice system and the rule of law at school. The law is a vital pillar of our democratic society, and understanding the law is essential to being an empowered and responsible citizen. In recent times schools have been under pressure to focus on a few core subjects, but with the new Ofsted inspection guidance schools are encouraged to provide a ‘well-balanced knowledge-rich curriculum’ and to ensure a ‘high quality of education’ for all. This gives schools a greater license to teach about subjects such as the law, through citizenship, Fundamental British Values, and SMSC education. Young Citizens strives to prepare young people for life in modern Britain and to boost access to justice – this is why we created The Big Legal Lesson.”
International law firm, Allen & Overy, sponsored the development of The Big Legal Lesson. Mark Mansell, Partner and Co-Head of Corporate Responsibility, added: “This is such an important and exciting initiative, the effects of which we hope will stay with the children involved for all of their lives. Engaging children at a young age in the fundamentals of the rule of law is the beginning of them understanding how our society runs and the crucial role they can play within it. We are thrilled to be able to help.”
The theme of Justice Week 2020 is Public Legal Education, and the intention is that the week’s engagement, will boost public understanding of the fundamentals of the justice system in England and Wales. Justice Week is jointly co-ordinated by The Bar Council, The Law Society and CILEx, and it is a collaborative effort involving voluntary sector organisations, schools, universities, legal professionals, the media and anyone with an interest in justice.
The Big Legal Lesson and Partners’ Pack can be freely accessed via the Young Citizens website. One can follow school engagement on social media using #JusticeWeek and #TheBigLegalLesson.