NASUWT comments on select committee report into holocaust education

Commenting on the report by the Education Select Committee calling for more support for schools on educating pupils about the Holocaust, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“The NASUWT believes that schools have an important role in play in ensuring the the lessons of the Holocaust are passed on to all children and young people to educate every generation of the grave dangers of hatred and intolerance.

“Therefore, it is vital that teachers receive effective support and training to deliver this area of the curriculum.

“The Government should act on the warning from the Education Select Committee that professional development in this area is patchy and put in place effective measures to ensure all teachers have access to high-quality training and teaching resources on the Holocaust.

“While the Holocaust is a compulsory part of the history curriculum, academies are not required to follow the National Curriculum as a result of Government deregulation. The NASUWT believes that all state-funded schools, regardless of legal status, should be required to teach Holocaust education.

“It must also be recognised that time for education on the broader issues of civics and human rights, which form an important part of the Holocaust legacy, is coming under increasing pressure in many schools as a result of Government reforms to the curriculum.

“Evidence shows that as a result of the introduction of the English Baccalaureate as an accountability measure, time for non E-Bacc areas of the curriculum such as PSHE, where this teaching often sits, is being squeezed, and in some cases, removed altogether.

“All schools must be supported to provide a rounded education to every student which not only provides them with a sound academic grounding for their future lives, but also supports them to reject intolerance and bigotry and respect all sections of society for the contribution they make to our shared way of life.”

Notes to editors

The NASUWT is marking Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday (27 January), by attending, by invitation of the Polish teachers’ union (ZNP) and the Polish Government, the Holocaust commemoration event at Auschwitz. The NASUWT will be continuing to work in collaboration with its education partners in Poland and Germany to support Holocaust education for teachers in the UK.