The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded 1,668 antisemitic incidents in the UK in 2020: the third-highest total it has ever recorded in a single calendar year. The rise of antisemitism should be of real concern to everyone; it is relevant to all schools as we need to use education to tackle the ideas and stereotypes that cause this form of racism.
The TUC’s Racism Ruins Lives survey (2017) revealed that Jewish workers experienced wide-ranging antisemitism in their workplaces and often felt unable to talk to their union due to the extent of the problem. The union movement must play a key role in leading by example and challenging antisemitism whenever it happens.
The NEU thinks education must be a tool in challenging antisemitism, in terms of preventing negative ideas and prejudice, and responding to incidents of antisemitism in schools or local communities. Silence is the wrong approach, and the historical causes of antisemitism must be covered in classes.
It is vital that we make progress and develop anti-racist educational approaches, so that Jewish communities are free from the scourge of antisemitism. A key part of tackling antisemitism is through education, in terms of using the whole curriculum and developing a whole-school culture where racism is taken seriously and challenged. Education is key to addressing bias and prejudice.