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New guide on how best to use the National Citizen Service

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The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a part-residential youth programme for 15 to 17-year-olds in England. It takes place out of term time and aims to develop the skills and confidence of young people. 

The summer programmes typically last for four weeks - two of which are delivered on a residential basis. While the autumn and spring programme delivery employs a shorter version of NCS.

The NCS is founded on three key principles: social cohesion, social engagement and social mobility. 

What are the benefits to schools and young people? 

  • NCS, which is recognised by UCAS, provides practical skills for employment and life

  • NCS encourages engaged citizenship. It can support your school’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural studies and your efforts to promote fundamental British values

  • NCS is inclusive. It aims to be for young people of all backgrounds and from all circumstance; it is available for those with additional needs

  • There is no financial cost to schools that get involved with the NCS. 

Guidance for schools and colleges

On 8 November 2017, the Department for Education released new guidance for schools and colleges on how best to use the NCS to develop the skills and confidence of students.

The guidance sets out seven key actions for schools and colleges to take to get their pupils involved in the NCS. And it offers case studies and reflections from schools to illustrate how each of these actions can increase take-up of NCS. 

The key actions are as follows: 

  1. Assign an NCS lead

  2. Get to know your NCS provider

  3. Arrange NCS provider visits to your school or college

  4. Embed NCS in your citizenship or PSHE education

  5. Promote NCS to your students and their parents/guardians

  6. Dedicate time to encouraging NCS sign ups

  7. Become an NCS champion school or college. 

Download the guidance.

First published 30 November 2017