'Teachers lack Shoah training' says HET chief


Schools and teachers need more support in delivering education about the Holocaust, according to a leading expert.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said that four out of five school staff teaching the Holocaust were self-trained.

More teachers needed to be able to access the training available, including that provided by HET.

Giving evidence to the Education Select Committee in Parliament on Tuesday, she told MPs: "We train 2,000 teachers a year… Our training is what makes the difference, but we need to reach more teachers."

She said schools should be incentivised to send staff on courses.

She argued that any additional money offered by the government's Holocaust Commission should not affect the Department for Education's current funding of the HET's Lessons from Auschwitz project, which enables 3,000 students and teachers a year to visit the camp.

Her view was backed by Sir Eric Pickles, the Prime Minister's special envoy on post-Holocaust issues who also gave evidence to the committee.

Paul Salmons, director of the Centre for Holocaust Education, said that while trips to camps and opportunities to speak to survivors were valuable and moving, it was "important not to underestimate the importance of a well taught lesson. This is why training is very important."

Dame Helen Hyde, headteacher of Watford Grammar School for Girls, told MPs that it was imperative for heads to prioritise Holocaust education in their schools. "It has to come from a top-down approach," she said.

● A Bafta award-winning production company has been appointed to record the testimony of Holocaust survivors as part of David Cameron's UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation project.

Atlantic Productions will collect the stories of up to 100 survivors in early 2016 using future-proofed technology to ensure the testimony can be played generations in years to come.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive