Vision Schools Scotland

University of the West of Scotland

April 3, 2019
by Catriona Oates

Professional Learning Opportunity: Citizenship and Holocaust Education Master’s Level Module

We are very pleased to share the news that applications are now invited for our Master’s level module on Citizenship and Holocaust Education. This is relevant for any interested educators in schools, museums, FE colleges and other settings who wish to develop their knowledge of this important issue. All information is in the attached PDF, but please don’t hesitate to contact us, via twitter,  email through our website or give us a call – we’d be delighted to speak to you about it.  Closing date for applications is 5th August 2019. Induction will commence on 27th August – Apply for your place now!

Module in Citizenship & Holocaust Education




November 20, 2019
by Lynn Nisbet

Vision Schools Scotland Award Ceremony


On Thursday 7 November 2019, ten schools received Vision Schools Scotland awards in an inspiring and uplifting event at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.



Jackson Carlaw MSP sponsored the event and we wee privileged to enjoy the company of invited guests, Catrina Kirkland( HET) and members of the Association of Jewish Refugees.  Barbara Winton, daughter of the late Sir Nicholas Winton, presented the awards (eight Level 1 and two Level 2) to staff and pupils from each of the Vision Schools before delivering a powerful and emotional talk, during which she explained the story of her father securing the safe passage of 669 children from Czechoslovakia immediately before the outbreak of World War ll.

Dr Paula Cowan, Director of Vision Schools Scotland provided an overview of the success of the programme to date and the continuing increase in the number of schools becoming involved.

It was wonderful to see the great work done by the schools in delivering effective holocaust education rewarded in such an iconic location. Congratulations to all our Vision Schools – we are very proud of you all!



September 5, 2019
by Jane Caffrey

Holocaust survivors are dying out – how should we preserve their legacy?

A new article in The National by Mark Brown; has extensive contributions from our very own Vision Schools Scotland colleague and Emeritus Professor of Education at  the University of the West of Scotland:  Professor Henry Mailtes.  Henry is a renowned Jewish educationalist and expert in Holocaust teaching.—preserve-legacy/


June 10, 2019
by Catriona Oates

Anne Frank and You: Exhibition at St Mungo’s Museum

I’d urge any schools interested in citizenship and Holocaust education to pop along to the Anne Frank Trust Exhibition ‘Anne Frank and You’ currently at St Mungo’s Museum until the end of June – it’s well worth a visit.


In what would be the year of her 90th birthday, the exhibition brings into focus Anne Frank’s messages for today’s generation. The exhibition launch was attended by young people, their parents, and representatives from other interested organisations. It was  officially opened by Eva Schloss,  Holocaust survivor and founder of The Anne Frank Trust, and Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander.  There are panel boards with questions and reminders of the consequences of racism, hatred and discrimination suffered by the likes of Stephen Lawrence, and victims of the Rwanda genocide. There is a replica room, constructed to the very dimensions of the one where Anne would write her diary  Digital displays and photographs illustrate the  horrific brutal functionality inflicted by humans on other humans as they were ‘processed’  towards their deaths.

The launch evening on June 8th was coordinated by young people from St Mungo’s Academy, Lourdes Secondary and Hillhead High School, who expertly hosted the evening, introducing speakers, providing entertainment and giving a vote of thanks. What a treat to listen to Eva Schloss, whose family endured a similar fate, and has become inter-twined with  the Frank family. Eva’s family fled Austria, and she described living in the ‘Hinterhaus’ in hiding, and the friendship between herself and her brother, and Anne and her sister. Although Eva and her mother survived the Holocaust, her  father and brother did not.   Eva has not stopped sharing her message for the past 60 years and is especially focused on engaging with young people, to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of prejudice and discrimination.

The exhibition will be of interested to all Vision Schools, as well as anyone interested in this aspect of citizenship, or Holocaust Education – please do try to make it along. Entry is free and it’s well worth it.

March 28, 2019
by Catriona Oates

Student testimony

At Vision Schools, we love to hear about what is going on in and out of  the classroom under the ‘Holocaust Education’ banner. If you have a story you’d like to tell, please get in touch and we will share it here across our Vision Schools community. Here, Amanda Stewart, S5 pupil at Bishopbriggs Academy reflects on her varied and memorable experiences of Holocaust Education, in and out of school. Many thanks for sharing this with us, Amanda!

I felt very lucky to be able to go to Poland with my school and get the chance to visit Auschwitz concentration camp. Visiting Auschwitz was a heart-wrenching and eye-opening experience that showed a visceral insight into humanity at its worst. Although the Holocaust is a topic that I have been learning about in school since I was in primary school, seeing the camp in person was truly shocking and hard to process. It’s heart breaking to learn about it in a classroom, but to see a place of so much suffering and death in real life was difficult to both comprehend and describe. I know that it is an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, as it showed the value of preserving the past and gave me a new perspective.

I also was very grateful to take part in the Holocaust Memorial activities, which gave me the chance to present information and discuss the topic of the Holocaust with both pupils and my school and students at a local prison. This was also a very valuable activity as it allowed me to understand the importance of sharing these stories. We are one of the last generations that will be privileged enough to hear these stories first-hand, and we can already see that information around the holocaust is fading. Many people do not know much about it or do not know or believe that it happened in the first place. It is essential that we share information about it and ensure that we use the past to learn from and to preserve our future. 



March 26, 2019
by Catriona Oates

Sharing Vision Schools success……

At Vision Schools we are very excited (UNDERSTATEMENT!!) to share this rather lovely news with all our lovely friends and followers. A very big ‘well done’ to our director, Dr Paula Cowan for these successful funding applications. It all adds up to helping the team work with teachers in developing your Holocaust education programmes, and maybe become a Vision School.  See our website for details of the application process – we’d love to hear from you!


Media release 

19 March 2019  



Teachers across Scotland will be given the opportunity to learn more about the Holocaust thanks to new funding for Vision Schools Scotland, the organisation set up by the University of the West of Scotland (UWSin partnership with the Holocaust Educational Trust to promote excellence in teaching the Holocaust in schools.   


The funding, which was granted by The Gordon Cook Foundation and the Association of Jewish Refugees, will help Vision Schools Scotland develop its accreditation process and the continued professional development (CPD) courses it offers teachers in primary and secondary schools across the country.  


Vision Schools Scotland was first established in 2017 to create a schools’ network of good practice in Holocaust education. It acknowledges schools who embed Holocaust education in their school and who can demonstrate how Holocaust education contributes to responsible citizenship in their school 


Dr Paula Cowan, Reader in Education at the University of the West of Scotland and Director of Vision Schools Scotland, said: “We want tsupport every school applying to our programme and develop our network of teachers who can share good practice with their peers. Since our launch in 2017, five secondary and two primary schools have received the Vision Schools Scotland Award, which recognises excellence in Holocaust teaching. Teacher evaluation of our programme demonstrates that Vision Schools Scotland is making a valuable contribution to both their own and their colleagues’ reflective practice.  

Wlook forward to working with these schools, as well as new schools who want to become a Vision School, and to working more closely with our partners, The Holocaust Educational Trust and our funders to the engagement of greater numbers of teachers in high quality CPD in Holocaust education.” 

Karen Pollock MBEChief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “Vision Schools Scotland has been working effectively with schools and teachers to promote excellence in Holocaust teaching. This funding means that their work can expand further in the coming years and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with them on this.” 

Jim Anderson, Trustee of the Gordon Cook Foundation, said: “The Gordon Cook Foundation is looking forward to working with Vision Schools Scotland to raise awareness of the Holocaust in schools across Scotland. We believe the mission of Vision Schools is an important one in today’s society.” 

Michael Newman, Chief Executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees, said: “The most important step we can take to ensure that the Holocaust is taught successfully in schools is to provide opportunities for continuing professional development for teachers. The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) is pleased to support the ground-breaking Vision Schools Scotland programme to create a network of expert practitioners across Scotland.” 

Further information on Vision Schools Scotland can be found on the Vision Schools Scotland website, and blog 


For more information please contact: 

Marketing and communication officers Lauren Gaston or Naomi Clark on or call 0141 849 4230  


February 4, 2019
by Catriona Oates

Free book – Questions I am asked about the Holocaust

In honour of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, independent publisher Scribe will be distributing 1000 copies of the new title Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust to UK schools and libraries.. In this brief, eloquent book, suitable for adults or younger readers alike, a campaigning ninety-four year-old survivor answers the questions about the Holocaust you never dared to ask – and explains why today’s politicians need to heed the lessons of the past more than ever

To request copies for your school or library, please email the close of business on February 22 specifying your postal address, the quantity requested and whether you would like teaching notes. You will receive an email confirmation when books are dispatched.

January 17, 2019
by Jane Caffrey


Expressions of Interest for 2019 are now open.

Schools which want to apply for Vision Schools Scotland accreditation are required to express their interest in this before submitting their application. Expressions of interest should be emailed to FAO Jane Caffrey.

Vision Schools Scotland Timeline:

  • 10th October – 28th January 2019:   school  submit  their expression of   interest in applying for Vision Schools Scotland accreditation
  • 15th April – 13th May: schools submit Vision School Scotland applications
  • End of June:  schools receive feedback on their application
  • November: successful schools awarded Vision Schools accreditation

How to Apply:


Download the application form (MS Word or pdf formats)

A Helpful guide from the teachers at St Roch’s Secondary, Glasgow

November 30, 2018
by Catriona Oates

Vision Schools at the IHRA plenary – Ferrara, Italy


Vision Schools’ director, Dr Paula Cowan was working with international colleagues in Holocaust Education  at the IHRA plenary in Italy this week. Here she is pictured with  Sally Sealey,  Lord Eric Pickles, Gilly Carr (University of Cambridge)  and Olivia Marks- Waldman ( HMDT) . – some of the other UK delegates on IHRA.  In the centre photo, Paula is pictured with Gilly Carr , at the Academic Working Group of the IHRA . We’re all looking forward to learning about what advances were made in Holocaust Education and partnership while she was away! Good work, Paula!


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