• 17% of teachers in London report antisemitism in the classroom.
  • Half of UK teachers say they don’t feel confident explaining the conflict.
  • 8% of teachers say their students have attended Palestinian demos; 1% for Israel rallies.

Secondary school teachers in the UK are struggling to manage the impact of Israel’s war on Hamas, according to a latest poll, with only 3% of teachers receiving training to handle such issues and 11% of teachers in the UK having witnessed antisemitic behaviour in the classroom. 

The poll, conducted on 29 January via Teacher Tapp, surveyed 4,646 secondary school teachers. Eleven percent of teachers across all regions confirmed anti-Jewish racism in pupils, but in London the figure was much higher at 17 percent.

While 52 percent of teachers said that students are discussing the conflict in Israel and Gaza, a worrying 50 percent of teachers said they do not feel confident in addressing the issues.

The views of the war among secondary aged children is also beginning to emerge. Eight percent of the teachers polled said that students were joining pro-Palestinian demonstrations, whilst just 1% of teachers said their students were attending pro-Israel rallies. Meanwhile, 21% of teachers said they have seen pupils arguing with other pupils about the conflict. 

The poll also gives insight into the emotional response to what students in Britain are witnessing with 22% of teachers saying pupils were distressed at what they were viewing and 21% saying students were angry at what they are seeing.

Meanwhile 21% of teachers said that pupils were angry with what they’re viewing.

58 percent of teachers said their school is not willing to appropriately address issues that might emerge related to the Middle East conflict. This fell to 47 percent for teachers in private schools.

Only 3 percent of teachers said they had the training to deal with issues like the Middle East conflict, while 11% said that their school had the resources to support them in dealing with issues or problems in school related to the issue.

Meanwhile, 18 percent said they know where to go externally to get assistance.

Headteachers (67 percent) and those in a Senior Leadership Team (59%) had higher levels of confidence than classroom teachers (36%),  to deal with issues arising from the conflict.

Responding to the poll, commissioned by Hope not Hate, Dave Rich, director of policy at the Community Security Trust (CST) said: “We have seen an worrying rise in antisemitic activity in schools since 7 October, much of it linked to the conflict, and it is vital that schools and teachers know how to recognise any antisemitic language and behaviour when it occurs and take appropriate action.

“Schools should be places of learning where all children are treated equally and fairly, and it is important that discussions about this issue are managed in a balanced and sensitive way so that Jewish students do not feel isolated or targeted.”


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