Schools “must remain neutral on Palestine,” warns Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

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Schools ‘must remain neutral on Palestine’ and quell rising anti-Semitism, warns Education Minister Gavin Williamson

  • Gavin Williamson has written to all public high school headteachers
  • He condemned a ‘worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents in some schools’
  • Mr. Williamson insisted that all schools should be serious about bullying and abuse
  • Must prevent politically active older students from intimidating others

Schools must remain impartial on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and quell rising anti-Semitism, the Education Minister warned last night.

Gavin Williamson has written to all public high school headteachers to remind them of their “legal duties of political impartiality.”

He said, “School leaders and staff have a responsibility to ensure that they act appropriately, especially in the political views they express.”

He described anti-Semitism as “repugnant” and condemned an “alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents in some schools” in this country amid the violence between Israel and Gaza.

Mr. Williamson insisted that schools should deal with bullying and abuse of Jewish students and staff “with due seriousness.”

Gavin Williamson (pictured) has written to all public high school head teachers reminding them of their ‘legal duties regarding political impartiality’

Mr Williamson's intervention comes as a series of high schools faces protests from students seeking to express their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The photo shows a big protest outside a factory building in Oldham

Mr Williamson’s intervention comes as a series of high schools faces protests from students seeking to express their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The photo shows a big protest outside a factory building in Oldham

And they must prevent politically active older students from ‘creating an atmosphere of intimidation or fear of other students and teachers’.

Staff must ensure that children receive “a balanced presentation of opposing views.”

Mr Williamson’s intervention comes as a series of high schools faces protests from students seeking to express their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Woodfood County High School, in North London, recently warned parents that students are “responding to the calls on social media” to stage pro-Palestinian protests.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews last night thanked Mr. Williamson for “his strong stance on anti-Semitism in schools.”

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