Hillsborough disaster to be taught at schools on Merseyside

24 March 2022, 14:11 | Updated: 24 March 2022, 14:14

Hillsborough disaster to be taught at schools on Merseyside. Picture: Alamy

By Tom Dunn

All primary and secondary school students on Merseyside will learn about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster on a special education day.

Schools across Merseyside will take part in a special day of education learning about the Hillsborough disaster.

All councils in the Liverpool City Region have committed to hold a ‘Hillsborough Day’ every year on the closest Friday to the anniversary on April 15.

The day will see all primary and secondary school pupils in the region take part in a special assembly and teach children more about the disaster, the cover-up by South Yorkshire Police and the fight for justice through dedicated teaching resource packs made available to every school in the City Region by local education leads.

The campaign was started by Labour MP for West Derby, Ian Byrne, who is lobbying government to get the Hillsborough disaster onto the national schools curriculum.

Byrne, a survivor of the crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground at the FA Cup Semi-Final in 1989, told LBC: “It can be done in a way which will educate and which will make the younger generations aware of what actually happened on that day and in the aftermath.

“It’s hugely important as a country that we’ve got, within our next generations, that these incidents can happen and we can be ready for them.”

“My anger lies with the people who knew the truth, but for the people who were fed the lies and the smears for decades, that’s why what we are trying to do with the education project to address that and make them aware of what really took place.”

97 Liverpool fans were killed in a crush on the Leppings Lane Terrace at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground at the 1989 FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The families of the victims campaigned for decades to get justice for their loved ones and to find out the truth of what happened on that day.

Read More: P&O Ferries boss admits firm 'chose' to break the law by sacking 800 workers

Margaret Aspinall lost her son James in the crush in 1989 and told LBC: “I’ve still had emails to this present day that the ninety seven were to blame for what happened.

“That’s why this education project is so important, not only to the families, but for the people of Merseyside and for the future generations.

“But this isn’t just about teaching children about Hillsborough. It’s about changing things and perceptions for the good of this nation.

“Hillsborough is a part of our heritage now. There’s nothing we can do to change that now and I think it’s important to let the children know that we had to campaign for over twenty years to get the correct verdict.”

Read More: Queen 'hopes' to attend Prince Philip memorial service after missing engagements

The families have said about the Hillsborough Day of Education that it’s vital that the young people of Merseyside are educated on this avoidable catastrophe and it is a topic that is etched into the very fabric of the city and will never be forgotten.

This forms part of the Real Truth Legacy Project - Ian Byrne and the families will now push for Hillsborough to be added to the national school curriculum.

The campaign has received wide spread support, including from the Grenfell Tower victims and the families of the Manchester Arena bombing.