Report condemns Life in the UK test as a “random selection of obscure facts”

The Life in the UK test is a “random selection of obscure facts and subjective assertions” and needs urgent reform, a Lords committee has concluded.

Most migrants have to sit the Life in the UK test when applying for settlement or citizenship. The 24-question, multiple-choice exam is designed to ensure that “people who are committing to become British citizens have knowledge of our values, history and culture” but even the Home Secretary has described it as a “pub quiz”.

Immigration minister Kevin Foster told the Justice and Home Affairs Committee that his department plans an “in-depth review” of the test and will say more about this “over the next 12 months”. This is not fast enough for the committee, which professed itself “astonished” that an overhaul hasn’t happened already and recommended change “as a matter of priority”.

Academics who (for reasons best known to themselves) take an interest in the Life in the UK test complain that it is by turns esoteric, facetious and contentious. The official version of the UK’s colonial and martial history is a particular bugbear.

It may be thought unlikely that a government test is ever going to invite would-be citizens to spit on the butcher’s apron. One solution canvassed by the committee is to ditch the history section altogether and focus on the safely bland: “factual content related to the rights and responsibilities of a citizen in the contemporary British democracy”. All very sensible, although practically guaranteed to ignite a culture war controversy if ever followed through.

Like this article? Share on

Facebook
Linkdin
Twitter
Telegram
WhatsApp

Related articles

Information about our own complaints process, raising concerns to the Legal Ombudsman and to us

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. 

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint; and,
  • Within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned; or
  • Within one year of you realising that there was a concern.

 

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, you can contact them at the following details:

 Contact details

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.