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White poppies: orders from schools increase several times over

Box of white poppies

White poppies: orders from schools increase several times over

The number of schools ordering white poppies and related materials has risen sharply in 2020, the Peace Pledge Union has reported.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), who produce and distribute white poppies, said that over 280 of their new Remembrance Education Packs have been ordered this year, compared to 59 orders for the previous version of the pack last year.

Ahead of their Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony at noon, the PPU said that events in 2020 seem to have encouraged teachers and young people to ask difficult questions about both the past and present, about what should be mourned and what celebrated.

The PPU aims to ensure that school students hear more than one perspective on remembrance. Schools often use their resources alongside material from other organisations with different viewpoints. PPU resources help schools to fulfil their requirement under the Education Act to offer a “balanced presentation of opposing views” on controversial issues.

The pack includes suggested activities for both primary and secondary schools. Many schools have ordered white poppies as well as the pack, making them available alongside red poppies (not instead of them). The PPU also produces more general educational resources for use at any time of year.

White poppies represent remembrance for all victims of war of all nationalities, a commitment to peace and rejection of any attempt to celebrate war.

White poppy wearers will be joining an online National Alternative Remembrance Ceremony at 12.00 noon today to remember all victims of war and to see white poppy wreaths laid around the UK. Contributors will include Yemeni-Scouse poet Amina Atiq and Scottish singer-songwriter Penny Stone.

Saffron Gallup, the PPU's Education Services Manager, said:

"We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to our updated education resource. Parents/ carers, educators and students have commented that the resource is clear and useful. Many people have told us that the resource has provided an opportunity to open up the conversation around remembrance without being biased or didactic. It has helped people to understand more about the white poppy and what it stands for, which in turn has enabled them to have conversations about how and who we remember at this time of year, without taking 'sides'."

Vix Lothian, a secondary school History teacher on the Isle of Wight, who uses the PPU's resources, said:

“The Black Lives Matter movement has reminded us that we need to explore the messy and complex realities of history. We need to remember colonial wars and current wars as well as the world wars, and be prepared to explore difficult questions about which aspects of history to mourn and which to celebrate. It's no surprise to me that in 2020 we are seeing a rise in demand for white poppies and Peace Pledge Union teaching resources in our schools. Young people are keener and more engaged than ever in working for a more peaceful world."

You can order white poppies, and PPU educational materials, at

To join the Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony at 12.00 noon, just log on to, where the event will be live-streamed.