Political literacy

Helping schools to encourage positive citizenship

POLITICAL LITERACY and "British Values"


As a former Head of Politics for one of the UK's top schools, I have taught hundreds of students about British, American and global politics, and political ideologies. My ex-students having been inspired by the subject, and my teaching of it, have gone to top level universities (up to 80% A*/A success rate at A-Level) and many have followed up their studies with work in political careers.


I use my experiences to bring subjects alive, communicating complex issues concisely, with wit and anecdotes from my time as an election observer as well as the classroom.


The talks below are designed for generalist Sixth Form students, although they will also broaden and support the learning of those who are studying Politics A-Level.


All of the talks are specificaly intended to help schools demonstrate that they are conforming with the Ofsted requirement to teach "British Values".


The State Of Democracy In The World


Can we be optimistic following the divisions of the American presidential election, the EU referendum campaign and the terrorist attacks of 2015 and 2016?

In a word: yes!

This is an up-to-the-minute review of British and global democracy which highlights the many grounds for optimism about liberal democracy, despite its flaws and inconsistencies.

Drawing on my recent political trips to Russia, Ukraine, Tanzania, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, as well as my analysis of contemporary political events there is always hope - even where it might be least expected.


Everything You'll Ever Need To Know About British Politics


  • Updated to explain the 2015 general election and EU referendum.
  • How your vote DOES make a difference.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Westminster electoral system?
  • Different ways of looking at the purposes of the general election and of the different and competing functions of Parliament.
  • Also defines important terms such as devolution and mandates, with plenty of up-to-date case studies.


Everything You'll Ever Need To Know About European Politics


  • A talk designed to facilitate students’ understanding of, and participation in, the forthcoming EU membership referendum.
  • It considers what the EU does (and doesn't do).
  • Facts versus fictions: Reasons why some people support Britain's membership of the EU and reasons why some people oppose it.
  • On what basis should students make up their minds?
  • Includes a mini-referendum of the students at the end.


Everything You'll Ever Need To Know About American Politics


  • An interactive talk which will prepare students to interpret the 2016 American presidential and Congressional elections for themselves as they happen.
  • Includes how the American electoral system works, who is likely to be president and how they will win.
  • Includes a mini-election for the students.


Everything You'll Ever Need To Know About Global Politics


  • What is really going on in the South China Sea and Ukraine?
  • Is there a new 'Cold War'?
  • Is terrorism as much of a threat as it seems?
  • How does the UN work?
  • What is TTIP?
  • Does Britain have power in the world?
  • Is democracy safe in the twenty-first century?
  • What is the McDonald's Peace Theory and can Big Macs really save us from war?


Everything You'll Ever Need To Know About Political Philosophy



The talks above are all designed to be standalone lectures (with Q and As), but are also integrated so that they could form a series of lectures in political literacy in preparation for adulthood. They are designed for Years 12 and 13, but can be made accessible for younger years as well.