Public Legal Education

 Public legal education provides people with awareness, knowledge and understanding of rights and legal issues, together with the confidence and skills they need to deal with disputes and gain access to justice. Equally important, it helps people recognise when they may need support, what sort of advice is available, and how to go about getting it.

Citizenship became a required part of the curriculum in 2002. The national curriculum for citizenship - at Key Stages 3 & 4 (ages 11 to 16) - aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of how the United Kingdom is governed, its political system and how citizens Participate actively in its democratic systems of government.
  • Develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system in our society and how laws are shaped and enforced.
  • Develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood.
  • Are equipped with the skills to think critically and debate political questions, to enable them to manage their money on a day-to-day basis, and plan for future financial needs.                                

What does the Bar Council do in this area?

  • The Bar Council has supported the Citizenship Foundation in producing a set of teaching resources that enable students to explore what it means to exercise their democratic rights and the challenge behind 'triggering Article 50'. You can find these resources here - please enter the name of your chambers when prompted for your school. 
  • The Bar Council supports the Citizenship Foundation which hosts an annual Bar Mock Trials Competition, providing PLE to over 2000+ school students a year. Barristers also act as mentors to school teams. This competition is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
  • Many chambers have their own arrangements for sending barristers into schools to engage in PLE. The Bar Council supports and assists these barristers and provides a matching service for others who wish to give talks in schools about a career at the Bar and the part that barristers play in the justice system. Find out more  here.
  • Bar Council sits on the Advisory Board of the new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for PLE and advised members about PLE.
  • Bar Council supports the Citizenship Foundation's PLE Quality Mark. It is an accreditation system that ensures that PLE resources are rigorously and independently assessed to ensure that they are of the highest quality.
  • Bar Council supports the Insititute of Ideas' national debating competition which is run in over 300 schools. There are plenty of opportunities for Barristers to judge these competitions.
CF LIS APPG Debating Matters