The British Humanist Association has some news on the latest tranche of Free Schools.
The headline news is that the Everyday Champions Church bid for a free school appears to have been rejected. You may recall that the ECC is an avowedly creationist crew, which would not sit well with Michael Gove’s public statements that creationism is not to be taught as science. Indeed, Gove referred to creationism as ‘wackoidal’ in one recent statement.
Of the 55 schools given the go-ahead, 11 have an essentially religious character. While this is actually rather fewer than anticipated, I would agree with the BHA that is remains an issue:
The 11 ‘faith’ schools include three Anglican schools, a Catholic school, three other Christian schools, a Jewish school, a Sikh school, a Hindu school and a Muslim school. Additionally, Frome Steiner Academy, a second state-funded Steiner school, is due to open. Steiner schools are not formally designated with a religious character, but still have complete control over their own curriculum.
The BHA also says:
One of the schools that progressed to interview stage, but has now been rejected, is Everyday Champions Academy, proposed by Everyday Champions Church. In February, church leader Pastor Gareth Morgan stated that ‘Creationism will be taught as the belief of the leadership of the school. It will not be taught exclusively in the sciences, for example. At the same time, evolution will be taught as a theory.’
I don’t know what the grounds for refusing the ECC bid for a Free School, but that statement from the church leader must have rung alarm bells up and down the corridors of power. On the other hand, David Colquhoun (the well-known campaigner against teaching quack medicine and other non-science in Universities) has posted a set of three articles outlining why he believes Rudolf Steiner education to be ‘mystical barmpottery’ (The true nature of Steiner (Waldorf) education. Mystical barmpottery at taxpayers’ expense).