The notion of the common good has been cited as a key constituent of citizenship education in England, within which the development of a concern for the common good represents a key disposition. The term has, however, received little critical attention to date within the discourse of the subject, either in terms of its theoretical basis or its educational function and form. For this reason to develop the common good represents an ill‐defined aim of the citizenship education in schools. This article seeks to redress this by critically engaging with different formulations of the common good within recent civic republican political theory. More specifically, it attempts to delineate between notions of the common good that are essentially moral and notions that emphasise political understandings of the term, and which, in so doing, minimise the moral. On the basis of this exploration a number of issues are raised for citizenship education in England and it is suggested that to fail to view the common good as a moral enterprise is inherently problematic.