Schools ‘must stay neutral on Palestine’, warns Education Secretary Gavin Williamson 

Schools ‘must stay neutral on Palestine’ and clamp down on rising anti-Semitism, warns Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

  • Gavin Williamson has written to all headteachers of state secondary schools
  • He condemned a ‘concerning increase in anti-Semitic incidents in some schools’
  • Mr Williamson insisted all schools must deal with bullying and abuse seriously
  • Should prevent politically active senior pupils from intimidating others 

Schools must remain impartial over the Israel-Palestine conflict and clamp down on rising anti-Semitism, the Education Secretary warned last night.

Gavin Williamson has written to all headteachers of state secondary schools, reminding them of their ‘legal duties regarding political impartiality’.

He said: ‘School leaders and staff have a responsibility to ensure that they act appropriately, particularly in the political views they express.’

Describing anti-Semitism as ‘abhorrent’, he condemned a ‘concerning increase in anti-Semitic incidents in some schools’ in this country amid the Israel-Gaza violence.

Mr Williamson insisted that schools must deal with bullying and abuse against Jewish pupils and staff ‘with all due seriousness’.

Gavin Williamson (pictured) has written to all headteachers of state secondary schools, reminding them of their ¿legal duties regarding political impartiality¿

Gavin Williamson (pictured) has written to all headteachers of state secondary schools, reminding them of their ‘legal duties regarding political impartiality’

Mr Williamson¿s intervention comes as a string of secondary schools are facing protests from students wishing to express their views on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Pictured, a large protest is held outside a factory building in Oldham

Mr Williamson’s intervention comes as a string of secondary schools are facing protests from students wishing to express their views on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Pictured, a large protest is held outside a factory building in Oldham

And they should prevent politically active senior pupils from creating ‘an atmosphere of intimidation or fear for other students and teachers’.

Staff must ensure that children are provided with ‘a balanced presentation of opposing views’.

Mr Williamson’s intervention comes as a string of secondary schools are facing protests from students wishing to express their views on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Woodfood County High School, in north London, recently warned parents that pupils are ‘responding to rallying cries on social media’ to stage pro-Palestinian protests.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews last night thanked Mr Williamson for ‘taking this robust stance on anti-Semitism in schools’.