Saved by the Bell: Rebooting the Commonwealth Connection between Young People

Tim Hewish
Tim Hewish
Executive Director, Commonwealth Exchange

In September we produced a report, in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society, shedding light on how the Commonwealth is taught and understood at primary and secondary levels in Britain. This report, Saved by the Bell, shows clearly that young Britons’ lack of comprehension of the Commonwealth is a cause for concern, and our recommendations offer policy-makers an action plan to reverse the trend. The meaning of the report’s title - rescued by a timely intervention - is urgently required.

We anticipate that the report’s findings are not a wholly British experience and we hope that our recommendations will be a catalyst to engage the younger generation not just in the UK but in all Commonwealth nations. CHOGM in Malta gives us cause to reflect.

Readers will know that the Commonwealth is a network of 2.3 billion people, 60 per cent of which are under the age of 30, spanning all habitable continents, and is united by the common language of English and much more besides. But do its young people know? Even if they did, how do we connect them together in ways that they understand?

*Statistics within article correct at original publication date of CHOGM 2015 Report.

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