TEACHERS will be trained how to tackle racism in classrooms across Teesside with the help of former footballers, thanks to £43,000 of funding from Cleveland's police and crime commissioner (PCC).

The three training sessions, which are being run by North-East charity Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC), are aimed at helping teachers and youth workers deal with racist attitudes or stereotypes within the classroom. More than 60 schools will benefit.

Ex Newcastle defender Jon Anderson and former Boro defender Dean Gordon will also talk about their experiences with racism on and off the pitch at more than 30 schools.

Laura Pidcock, manager of the North-East Education Team at STRCTR, said: "Anti-racism education has never been more necessary.

"Show Racism the Red Card firmly believes in the power of critical thinking to prevent people from believing racist ideas and myths often presented by the media.

"Young people and adults need the opportunity to have a safe and non-judgemental space to explore their own prejudice and develop techniques and strategies to overcome them.

"We need to be brave enough to have difficult conversations with young people so that they can make sense of the world around them for themselves, rather than simply believing Facebook or a newspaper headline."

PCC Barry Coppinger said: "It is important to stress that we are not saying Cleveland has a specific issue with racism. However, we know that hate crime exists, and we know that it is under-reported, both locally and nationally.

"Current events internationally also make this a particularly topical subject and organisations like Show Racism the Red Card enable us to face these issues head on."

Workshops have also been funded directly with pupils in primary and secondary schools across Cleveland.