More teachers should be trained to teach schoolchildren about the Holocaust, a cross-party of group of MPs has suggested.
The topic is a key part of pupils’ education, and should extend beyond history lessons, according to a new report by the Commons education select committee.
The study, which comes ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, also warns that with a rising number of schools opting to become academies, and taking control of their own curriculum, there is a need to make sure that education about the genocide does not become “patchy”.
Figures from the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education show that more than 6,000 teachers have take part in its training programmes, but there could be 30,000 history teachers in 4,000 secondary schools teaching about theHolocaust, as well as tens of thousands more religious education, citizenship, English and other teachers, the committee said.
The report concludes: “Too few teachers – particularly history teachers – are being trained to teach the Holocaust.
“While much of the training for teachers is of a high standard, more needs to be done to extend its reach to subjects other than history.
“The Holocaust should remain part of the core history curriculum, and we believe that the teaching of the Holocaust would be strengthened by the adoption of a deliberately cross-curricular approach.”
The committee urges the Department for Education (DfE) to support the organisations it funds to help them provide training for more history teachers and look at how the training it funds could be extended to other subject teachers.
In addition, it says a growing number of pupils are being taught at schools that are not required to teach the Holocaust and that while many will do so, the Government should take steps to ensure that Holocaust education “does not become inadvertently patchy”.
Committee chairman Neil Carmichael said: “During our evidence we heard of some excellent and engaging teaching which serves to deepen young people’s understanding and knowledge of the Holocaust.
“However, too few teachers, particularly history teachers, are being trained to teach theHolocaust and our report calls on the Government to act. We expect the DfE to ensure the support it gives to Holocaust education is as effective as possible.”
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Sign the petition, ‘Christians Against Anti-Semitism‘ which as part of its aims asks the government to uphold its commitment in assuring The Holocaust remains in compulsory education.