Saturday, 22 March 2014

BHA: Write To Your MP About Censored Exam Questions, Creationist Nurseries And More

A range of issues involving state endorsement of creationism have occurred recently. We think it’s time everyone wrote to their MPs to speak out. We've provided a facility through which it’s possible to do so.

The Government has been clear that creationism is not scientifically valid and should not be taught as such. As a consequence, it has a policy of rejecting creationist groups that apply for funding through the Free Schools programme. Because of our campaigning, it has also precluded Free Schools from teaching pseudoscience and made it a requirement for them to teach evolution. However, three issues have come up which are inconsistent with this policy:
  1. State funding of creationist nurseries: This week we identified 67 nurseries which are receiving state funding through the scheme of providing free places to toddlers, in spite of the fact that they would not get funding if they were Free Schools. This includes Christian creationist, Charedi Jewish, Steiner and allegedly extremist Muslim groups.
  2. Censoring of exam questions: At least two Charedi Jewish schools, one of them state funded, have censored exam questions on evolution or sex education. Shockingly when the exam board OCR and Ofsted learned of this they initially accepted it.
  3. Endorsement of creationist zoo: Noah’s Ark Farm Zoo in Bristol has been endorsed by Learning Outside the Classroom for school visits in spite of the fact that it promotes creationism. We and Alice Roberts wrote to the Government asking it to object, but their reply has refused to do so.
We need to take action. Please write to your MP today to make your concerns known.