Friday, November 30, 2012

British "Free Schools" Must Teach Evolution In Science Classes

In Britain, Free Schools are alternative state-funded schools set up in response to local demands. The first Free Schools opened in 2011. In January of this year, Britain's Department for Education revised its funding agreement for Free Schools to prevent the teaching of creationism in science classes, allowing it to be taught only in religious education classes. (The Guardian). Now, after pressure by the Royal Society as well as secular and humanist groups, the Department for Education has taken the next step.  Free Schools also may not omit evolution from their science curriculum. Instead, according to Thursday's Guardian, a new clause has now been placed in funding agreements with Free Schools requiring them to "make provision for the teaching of evolution as a comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced theory." The Department for Education has approved three Free Schools run by groups with creationist views, though only one of these schools has opened so far. [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]