Jeevan VasagarMonday April 2, 2007 The Guardian
Schools have avoided teaching the Holocaust and the Crusades in history lessons because they are concerned about causing offence to Muslim pupils or challenging "charged" versions of history which children have been taught at home, government research has found.
A report for the Department for Education and Skills found that a history department in a northern city had avoided selecting the Holocaust as a GCSE topic for fear of confronting "anti-semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial" among some Muslim pupils.
Another school decided to teach the Holocaust despite anti-semitic sentiment among students, but avoided the Crusades as "their balanced treatment of the topic would have directly challenged what was taught in some local mosques".
The report, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, also revealed that one school was challenged by Christian parents for teachers' treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
A DfES spokesman said: "It's up to schools to make a judgment on non-compulsory parts of the national curriculum. It is a broad framework and there is scope for schools to make their own decisions."
Teaching of the Holocaust is expected to become compulsory under the new national curriculum from next year.
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