|Creationists taking over state schools|
Minor update 25 July 2005.
What is more, another "creationist" academy opened in Middlesbrough in September 2003 (it is known as King's Academy) and another will open in September 2005 in Doncaster. (A second planned for Doncaster was fought off by a campaign by parents and teachers - for details, search Google for CADPAG and see the cached files). Sunderland and Ashington (Northumberland) are possible further sites.
The Gateshead school was partly funded by the Vardy Foundation, endowed by Sir Peter Vardy. He contributed £1,722,000 but the Government provided far more: £6,887,000. The Middlesbrough academy will be an even worse bargain for the public purse: the DfES will pay over £19 million to this "independent" school, whereas Vardy will contribute a mere £2 million.
Another foundation, Christian Vision, associated with millionaire businessman Bob Edmiston, is planning to open an academy in Coventry. His right-hand man, Steve Chase, told the Coventry Evening News:
All running costs of the so-called Academies are met by the Government but they are legally independent, privately owned by their trustees, and so have considerable freedom.
However, what these academies are doing in science is already being done in voluntary aided schools run by Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists.
And the powerful and extraordinarily wealthy creationist movement in the USA is impressed by the ease with which money buys access to children in the UK.
This is how the story broke in 2002:
College: creationists run state-funded Gateshead school -
plan six more - all at public expense [The Guardian, 9/3/02]
Foundation plans schools in Doncaster,
Leeds , Newcastle, Sunderland and Hull.-
Vardy (and Richard Dawkins) interviewed on BBC Radio 4 "Today",
28/4/03: "We do teach creationism alongside evolution - we present
them as the two views - that some people hold the faith position of creation
and others believe in evolution."
from lecture by Steven Layfield, Head of Science at
Emmanuel College: "When an evolutionary/old-earth paradigm (millions
or billions of years) is explicitly mentioned or implied by a textbook
. . . we must give the alternative (always better) biblical explanation
of the same data" [The Guardian, 9/3/02]
from other staff - "the feasibility of maintaining an ark full
of representative creatures for a year until the waters had sufficiently
receded has been well documented" - Emmanuel College head of science.
Q&A on creationism v. evolution: "Creationists generally believe that the world is less than 10,000 years old; that humans co-existed with dinosaurs" [The Times, 14/3/02]
The difference between a scientific theory and a belief: " 'Theory' . . . does not mean 'hypothesis' but the body of methodological tools and data which provide a context for scientific investigation" [Letters, The Guardian, 19/3/02]
Supernatural Selection: Review of a recent book putting the case for and against the soft-sell creationism known as Intelligent Design [New York Times, 14/4/02]
More clergy believe in creationism than ever since Darwin One in ten believes in six-day creation. [Church Times, 22/3/02]
Science and Religion - a paper by David Pollock sets out the historical background to the conflict between science and religion, contrasting two fundamentally different outlooks.
Dawkins: creationism "a preposterous, mind-shrinking
falsehood" [The Guardian, 9/3/02]
of Durham wants re-inspection by Ofsted [Daily Telegraph,
Dawkins to debate at Emmanuel College? Sir Peter Vardy may invite Richard Dawkins to a debate. [The Guardian, 9/4/02]
No-one can control Emmanuel College Durham diocesan director of education, Canon David Whittington, says Emmanuel College is out of control [Church Times, 22/3/02]
Scientific and theological nonsense Letter from Rev. Michael Roberts [Church Times, 12/4/02]
Blair defends Emmanuel College: "In the end, a more diverse
school system will deliver better results for our children" [PQ 12/3/02]
Official Position - parliamentary statement about selection,
the national curriculum, science, and human rights.
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Updated 23/5/03; minor update 25/7/05