The school’s bid was rejected on Monday, and the reason is now known. In having their bid rejected, the Church was told by the Department for Education that ‘The Secretary of State carefully considered your application, the views and beliefs of your organisation as set out in your application, your responses at interview and information about your organisation available in the public domain. He was unable to accept that an organisation with creationist beliefs could prevent these views being reflected in the teaching in the school and in its other activities. It is his firm view that the teaching of creationist views as a potentially valid alternative theory is not acceptable in a 21st century state funded school.’ The Church is now planning to re-apply for 2013, and is adamant that they would only teach the story of creation in RE.This particular school was very high profile and many secularists wrote to Micheal Gove about their concerns for this particular bid. This proves that secular activism works, however we need to stay vigilant. Every round of approvals for free schools has a number of faith based applicants and few can be trusted to teach science in an unbiased Way. Until the secularisation of Children's education can be assured, every faith school needs scrutiny on the same level.
"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"
Monday, 17 October 2011
Back in March I wrote about a prospective Free School prepared to teach creationism as part of its ethos. Well, I'm pleased to report that its application has been refused, and for all the right reasons