Liverpool MP launches schools assembly kit on Hillsborough disaster with help of local Catholic teacher

A Liverpool MP has been praised after launching a specially-designed schools assembly kit to teach children about the Hillsborough disaster.

The digital tool kit has been made available to every school in Liverpool as part of a campaign by MP Ian Byrne, who himself survived the 1989 tragedy in which 97 Liverpool fans died as a result of the crush at the FA Cup Semi-Final in Sheffield.

Mr Byrne, who is Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby and Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Friends of CAFOD, says he wants the tragedy and its aftermath to be on the national curriculum, and said the assembly resource pack was the first step.

It was launched this week by Maureen Ungi, assistant head teacher at St Teresa of Lisieux Roman Catholic Primary School, Norris Green, who delivered the assembly at two primary schools.

“At my own school, not many of the pupils knew about Hillsborough – around three out of 60, which shocked me a little bit,” Mrs Ungi told BBC Radio Merseyside.

“It was a very moving assembly and the children asked some really thoughtful, deep questions – they didn’t hold back.”

Mrs Ungi said the subject matter was dealt with in an age-appropriate way, adding: “It is a distressing topic and many families are still affected by it.”

Mr Byrne said the assembly took 18 months to create, working with families, survivors and educators. One of the ideas explored in the assembly was the aftermath of the disaster, the way it was reported at the time, the cover-up and the subsequent legal battle.

The MP said the idea was “to keep remembering Hillsborough and future-proofing younger generations about what may happen moving forward”.

“We’ve had some great questions from the kids,” he added.

“One little girl asked ‘why do women footballers not get paid as much as male footballers – they’re both on the pitch for 90 minutes?’

“So it encourages critical thinking, and shows they are thinking about injustices as they perceive them.”

Ian Byrne’s website: