British Citizenship Test (BCT) Training
The purpose of this pilot project is to promote the social integration of ethnic minority groups in London, in particular the Turkish-speaking community, within the wider community with the impetus provided by the British Citizenship Test (BCT) requirement for full citizenship rights. It is to better equip and empower participants about their rights and responsibilities as British citizens; how they can become active and constructive members of the British community and how they can access public and charitable services. We also seek to bring participants in contact with other local community organisations that can help them and their families with social, education and employment issues. The project is about helping people integrate in British life, culture and community by helping prospective-citizens pass the BCT and providing a wider understanding of British life, culture, politics and services on offer. Therefore its prime target are those who have arrived in the country from abroad and intend to stay in the UK.
LCSS also brought participants into contact with other local community organisations that can help with social, educational and employment issues. Throughout the course, participants were guided on aspects of everyday life in Britain and their rights & duties as UK citizens. The syllabus consisted of chapters on the changing society of Britain (i.e. migration to britain, the changing role of women, children, family and young people), the UK’s current situation (i.e. population, the nations and regions, religion, customs and traditions), how the UK is governed (i.e. the British constitution, the UK in Europe and the world), everyday needs (i.e. housing, services in and for the home, money and credit, health, education, leisure, travel and transport) and employment (i.e. looking for work, equal rights and discrimination at work, working for yourself, childcare and children at work).
The project consisted of two types of teaching sessions, BCT and GiT (Get in Touch) targeted primarily at the Turkish-speaking (TS) and Pakistani, Indian and Somali community to help them prepare for the mandatory BCT and provide them with classes and services beyond the minimum remit of the BCT that will help them better integrate within the wider community through the GiT courses.
These sessions will concentrate on preparing the participants for th BCT by studying the Life in UK manual. The BCT is a 45-minute test on society, history and culture and all prespective British-citizens have to score a rate of 75%. All prospective British citizens with an English level of ESOL Entry 3 or above have to take this test if they are applying for naturalisation as a British citizen. The Life in UK manual by the Home Office aims to prepare prospective citizens for the BCT, including information on British history and society, its institutions and political system – but also practical issues key to integration such as employment, healthcare, education and using public services like libraries.
Get in Touch (GiT)
GiT is about expanding the practical knowledge and understanding of prospective citizens by providing them with pragmatic advice and know-how in becoming a positive and constructive member of the British community. A significant proportion of prospective citizens are unaware of the kind of services that are available to them whether govermental ot otherwise.
BCT: British Citizenship Test
GiT : Get in touch Seminar
Period: 45 minutes BCT teaching session
Seminar: 45 minutes GIT teaching session
Course: 7 days of teaching made-up of 2 BCT periods and 1 GIT seminar per day
Project: the project consist of a total of 80 courses run within one academic year.
The BCT sessions lasted in total for 14 periods. Each period consisting of 45 minutes. Therefore BCT total teaching time was 14×45min= 10 hours and 50 minutes. Two periods were covered per day. The final three periods were allocated to mock tests. Participants were expected to familiarise themselves with the manual in advance. The course was spread over 7 consecutive days. Each day there were two BCT periods and one GiT seminar.
Get in touch (GiT)
GiT was achieved by a series of seminars consisting of 45 minutes each. These GiT seminars were commenced after the BCT period. The GiT classes were more relaxed wit drinks and redreshments made available, a different speaker for each seminar and use of multimedia where possible. Unfortunately, we were anly ve able to run these GiT seminars in the evening course and not in the course running during the day. Thereofre, we only had a total of 40 GiT seminars throughout the year desoite having 80 courses in total in the project.
The GiT Syllabus;
- Social Services: the basics
- Housing & Tenants Rights
- Education: State schools
- Education: Community organisations
- Local Council: Rights and Responsibilities
- Neighbourhood Awareness
- Legal Rights and Advice
- Police and Security: A vigilant citizen
- Becoming Politically Awere and Active
- How to Know How: How to find out about other services or news services in the future
Our GiT Course-instructors include:
Muttalip Unluer, Hackney Councillor and member of Hackney Education Scrutiny Panel
Ertan Hurer, Enfield Councillor and Cabinet Member for Enfield Community Safety & Development
Kelami Dedezade, Advisor to Harringey Education Services and Turkish language teacheer in Haringey for over 30 years Fatih Kahraman, Science Teacher in Harringey for over 5 years.
Selim Baltan, Police Officer
Fatih Tedik, PhD Candidate, LCSS Volunteer