The organisation set up by UWS to promote excellence in teaching the Holocaust in schools has been awarded £50,000 to continue this vital work and promote the National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London, which will be completed in 2025.
The funding from the UK Memorial Directorate’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will enable Vision Schools Scotland, founded by UWS in partnership with Holocaust Educational Trust, to support and reward more schools who demonstrate innovation and good practice in Holocaust education for another year, as well as focusing on promoting the aims of the aims of the new Learning Centre and highlighting the British experiences of the Holocaust.
Vision Schools Scotland launched in 2017 with three schools, but the programme has now grown to include 23 Vision Schools and a network of more than 40 schools that are involved in varying stages of the programme.
The organisation promotes a focus on the history of, and learning from, the Holocaust. The former is essential in addressing Holocaust distortion, while the latter allows issues such as contemporary antisemitism, anti-gypsyism and xenophobia to be studied in this context – issues essential in achieving global citizenship.
The new grant means that Vision Schools Scotland is funded by the Scottish and UK Governments.
Dr Lucy Meredith, Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “It is fantastic news that Vision Schools Scotland has received this new funding. The organisation undertakes hugely important work, which encourages schools in Scotland to teach the Holocaust in unique and creative ways and I am delighted that this new grant will enable more schools to work with Vision Schools Scotland.
“The organisation is working closely with educators to keep conversations about events alive – an incredibly important topic for pupils and staff to engage with. I’d like to extend my congratulations to the team for this wonderful achievement.”
Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton constituency MSP, said: “It is fantastic news that Vision Schools Scotland has secured a grant through the Levelling Up programme, which will bring important lessons about the Holocaust to children and young people across Scotland. This is a vital resource for schools. Vision Schools Scotland already do a tremendous job and this funding will enable them to expand their work in future.”
Jackson Carlaw MSP said: “The Vision Schools Scotland team led by Dr Paula Cowan have worked incredibly hard to build up this important initiative and to ensure that schools demonstrating good practice in Holocaust Education are rewarded for their efforts.
“It is fantastic news that Vision Schools Scotland has been awarded financial support from the UK Department of Levelling Up and this is much deserved.
“The funding will help the programme to keep progressing and ensure many pupils across Scotland have the opportunity to learn about the objectives of the new National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.
Dr Paula Cowan, Director of Vision Schools Scotland, said: “This grant will help Vision Schools Scotland achieve its goal of engaging with schools from each of the 32 unitary authorities in Scotland, research Holocaust education in Scottish schools, and extend its Continued Professional Development opportunities to teachers in Scotland. The Vision Schools Scotland Team look forward to engaging with teachers on the new National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, as this will be an essential and valuable educational resource.”