Debate over teaching the Holocaust in UK schools

One of the leading figures in Holocaust education has challenged a former education minister after he called for an end to teaching about the Nazis in British classrooms.

Lord Baker of Dorking, who developed the National Curriculum during his three-year stint as Margaret Thatcher's education secretary, told the Telegraph that the study of Nazism should be banned from the curriculum.

He said British children should study their own history and criticised Holocaust education because "it doesn't really make us favourably disposed to…present-day Germany".

"I don't really think that it does anything to learn more about Hitler and Nazism and the Holocaust," he added.

But Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Education Trust, said the Holocaust was "a fundamental part" of British history.

"Standing up to the Nazis and defeating fascism was Britain's finest hour and teaches us about our enduring commitment to the values of democracy and freedom," she pointed out. "Learning about this period in history enables young people to explore the consequences of allowing prejudice to gain a foothold in society."

    Last updated: 11:19am, December 29 2011