Schools: Publications

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th January 2022.

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Photo of Paul Girvan Paul Girvan Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that the Pikku Publishing children's book entitled, Amazing Women of the Middle East: 25 Stories from Ancient Times to Present Day, which deletes Israel from the map, will be denied authorisation for use in schools in the UK.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

The content of textbooks is a matter for individual publishers. The department does not play a role in prescribing or authorising the books that schools can use. It is a matter for schools themselves to determine what curriculum resources they use, and we trust them to use their judgement in assessing their quality.

We understand from the publisher that Palestine was included on the map to signify the origin of one of the women in the book, born in the 19th century. The publisher has made clear no offence was intended, and if a new edition is published, they would omit or update the map to address the criticisms. Additionally, the publisher has stated that only a selection of countries from the area are included on the map.

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