Royal High School Bath begins this 2020/2021 school year by joining 23 secondary schools across the country committed to developing the way the Holocaust is taught in England’s secondary schools.

Ben Lacey, History Teacher at Royal High School Bath, will join colleagues from across England and experts from University College London’s (UCL) Centre for Holocaust Education on a powerful, innovative and engaging online Holocaust Education CPD programme.

Since 2012, the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s Beacon Schools Programme has worked directly with 165 secondary schools and impacted upwards of 160,000 young people. These Beacon Schools become dynamic hubs serving a physical or virtual network of local schools and in partnership with the Centre, improve teaching standards, raise pupil achievement, strengthen SMSC provision, support wider school policies on safeguarding and inclusion, and encourage community and social cohesion.

In the wake of COVID-19 this year’s Beacon School Programme will see the 23 Lead Teachers participate in online short CPDs and receive ongoing support. Schools will benefit from 12 ‘live’ twilight inputs that enhance subject knowledge and disciplinary specialism, and develop sensitive and innovative ways to help young people explore the traumatic history of the Holocaust. In addition, Royal High School Bath will receive one-to-one and small group mentoring opportunities, engage in research and participate in a rich, optional programme of guest and expert speakers.

“We are thrilled to be selected and very excited to be working with the Centre for Holocaust Education this year,” said Ben Lacey, History Teacher at Royal High School Bath. “We are constantly striving to refine our teaching and curriculum and we will benefit from their expertise and experience of teaching this complex part of history. The Centre prides itself on being research informed and we look forward to learning from and participating in research with them also.”

In addition to the Lead Teacher strand of the programme, Hadrian Briggs, Deputy Head Academic, will participate in five senior leader CPD sessions across the year that will help enhance whole school approaches, enrich policy and practice and help school leaders recognise the wider contribution quality, researched informed, Holocaust teaching and learning can make to values, ethos, safeguarding, SMSC and challenging prejudice and hate in all forms, championing rights, respect, empathy and inclusion.

“We are very pleased to have been selected to be a Beacon School by the Holocaust Educational Trust and look forward to working with them and UCL to enhance our educational opportunities in this area, as well as helping local schools and other GDST schools,” said Hadrian. “At this point in time, as these horrific events move from memory to history, it is more important than ever to pass this on to future generations so that we can equip them to act against the rise of Anti-Semitism and any other forms of discrimination that we find in today’s world.”

UCL’s Centre for Holocaust Education, which leads the Beacon School programme, was established in 2008 with the aim of ‘working with teachers to transform Holocaust education’. It is part of University College London’s Institute of Education, which is Britain’s leading centre for educational research and teacher training.