James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, has today warned of a chain email which asserts that 'the UK has removed the Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offended' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred'.

In the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day this Sunday, James is confirming that the email is incorrect and that the Holocaust will continue to remain a mandatory component of the National Curriculum for History as it has been since 1991.

The chain email stirred unease among some local people, and James has replied to those who have contacted him to reassure them.

Speaking today, James said:

“A small number of constituents have contacted me regarding this chain email and I can confirm that its contents are totally untrue.

“The teaching of the Holocaust remains a compulsory element in schools at Key Stage 3, ages 11 to 14, and will remain in place when the new curriculum is introduced from September this year”.

James would direct anyone who is concerned to the confirmation given by the Minister in an official Parliamentary question, which states:

“The National Curriculum requires pupils aged between 11 and 14 to study the Holocaust and this has not changed following the recent KS3 review where the Holocaust remains one of the very few compulsory elements of the History Curriculum.”

James regularly works together with the Holocaust Educational Trust, which works in schools and communities to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today.

James continued:

“I recently visited Rwanda and witnessed the reality of a genocide aftermath, and I’ve followed events in Darfur and elsewhere with horror. It’s clear to me that there are vital lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust that apply to today’s world as much as to the original atrocity itself.

“I’m relieved that children will continue to be taught about the Holocaust as a matter of course.”

23 January 2008