SCHOOL pupils in East Renfrewshire have been praised for their efforts to ensure the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten.

Barrhead High and Mearns Castle High, in Newton Mearns, were among just five schools across Scotland to be recognised for good practice in Holocaust education at a special online event.

The awards were presented by Vision Schools Scotland – a partnership between the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and the Holocaust Educational Trust, which is funded by the Association of Jewish Refugees and the Gordon Cook Foundation.

To win the prize, schools must demonstrate their existing commitment to the importance of Holocaust education and to developing teacher knowledge to ensure continued expertise in this subject matter.

Barrhead High has been presented with the prestigious level two award, while the other four schools, including Mearns Castle High, were honoured at level one.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney heaped praise on the winners at last week’s virtual awards ceremony.

He said: “Developing the skills that young people need to be responsible citizens is at the heart of Curriculum for Excellence.

“Holocaust education is an important part of this, as well as being crucial for Holocaust remembrance.

“I am therefore pleased to see a number of our schools recognised for their good practice in embedding Holocaust education across the curriculum.

“I’m sure the young people involved in these projects will take away valuable insights that will stay with them throughout their lives.”

Dr Paula Cowan, director of Vision Schools Scotland and Reader of Education in the School of Education and Social Sciences at UWS, praised pupils for focusing on Holocaust education despite the challenges presented by school closures and staff absences during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “We are so delighted that a growing number of schools have expressed an interest in receiving this award. We are committed to presenting and facilitating continuing professional development for teachers in these schools to support their continued professional growth in Holocaust and citizenship education.”

For more information on the Vision Schools programme, visit here.