UCL Centre for Holocaust Education

The UCL Institute of Education has been successfully working in partnership with Pears Foundation for seven years to develop and improve how the Holocaust is taught in every secondary school in England and to positively impact how young people learn about the Holocaust. As a funder Pears Foundation have a genuine interest in the work of the Centre. They are interested in learning and understanding about what we do and how we do it and ensure we have their full support along the way.
Professor Stuart Foster, Director
The Centre for Holocaust Education is a truly world-class programme, located within a university ranked first in the world for education. Its unique combination of academic research and practical expertise has enabled it to create an extraordinary programme to help teachers grapple with one of the darkest periods in human history in all its complexity.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG

Learning about the events and legacy of the Holocaust is crucial to understanding the modern world and our place within it, but it is a huge and challenging subject for teachers and students, raising profound questions about the human condition and our responses to atrocity.

In 2006 Pears Foundation conducted internal research into the needs and priorities of the Holocaust education field and convened a symposium which identified teacher training as the urgent, national priority. As a result, the Foundation, in partnership with the Department for Education, established the Centre for Holocaust Education at the UCL Institute of Education and tasked it with the creation of a national teacher training institute.

The Centre aims to give teachers the confidence and skills to support their students to think critically, deepen their knowledge and wrestle with the complex and difficult questions that study of the Holocaust raises.

Its distinctive contribution has been to use – for the first time – large-scale national research into the challenges of teaching about the Holocaust to ensure that approaches, activities and materials are specifically designed to meet classroom needs.

In 2009 the Centre conducted landmark research into the teaching of the Holocaust in English secondary schools, followed in 2015 by the world’s largest ever study of students’ knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust. The findings of the research inform every aspect of the Centre’s work, ensuring that its programmes meet genuine needs and address important gaps in teachers’ and students’ understanding and knowledge.

Teachers are supported at all stages of their careers through a carefully constructed professional development pathway that includes their initial training, continuous professional development workshops, a fully accredited Masters module and a Beacon Schools leadership programme.

More than 6,000 teachers and an estimated 1 million pupils have benefitted from the Centre’s programmes and it is having a profound impact on improving practice in schools across the country.

The Centre’s team is made up of globally renowned academics, researchers and educators, enabling it to act as a conduit between academia and education, bringing the latest research and key developments in understanding the Holocaust off the page and into the classroom.