Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Will free schools be able to teach creationism as science?

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

Pupil artwork depicting "Creation" at the Bethany School
in Sheffield, which is applying to be a free school
Ever since their inception, free schools have been a cause for concern for secular campaigners. As the flagship part of the government's schools reforms, education secretary Michael Gove has enthusiastically espoused their virtues, while seeking to dispel suggestions that the freedom afforded to the new academies will allow for the teaching of controversial topics such as creationism. Speaking to Andrew Marr last year (before the government was elected), Gove said "you cannot have a school which teaches creationism", while Rachel Wolf, head of the New Schools Network, which advises groups interested in setting up free schools, has said that groups planning to teach creationism in place of evolution would be told that they "can't become a free school".

But are the safeguards sufficient? Writing in our current issue, James Gray investigates religious groups looking to set up free schools, and discovers that there are organisations on the road to establishing free schools which have every intention of undermining the teaching of evolution. It's an important article, and I urge you to take a look and share your comments.
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