The Education Secretary Michael Gove encouragingly declared last week that only scientific explanations for the origins of life and the cosmos can be taught in British state schools and academies.
   Besides the tens of thousands of state schools and the hundreds of expensive fee-paying 'public' schools, the academy idea of free schools is being encouraged by the Conservative government (partly to save the government some of its taxpayers money). 
   Academies can be founded and supported by any group that is rich enough and yet also receive some state support. [It would be useful to have atheist groups backing a few such schools, seeing that most are religious schools]. 
   More than 300 groups have applied to the Department of Education to launch free schools----like the Everyday Champions Church in Newark, Nottinghamshire, which has asked to teach creationism by pretending it is science.
   The D of E, however, again emphasises that it "will not accept any academy or free school proposal which plans to teach creationism in the science curriculum." Michael Gove says that such concepts can only be discussed as beliefs within religious education classes. 
   Hurrah for that. But the exceptions, as ever, will include Muslim schools with their creationist Koran and many fundamentalist christian schools with their creationist Old Testament. 

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Great. Even aside from my initial reaction of 'Well, bugger me, a Tory doing something right' this is still a great thing to have on the books. A definitive denial of the insult to human knowledge that rears its head every time a preacher thinks his god tells him how the world works.
And despite Gove being very church of Scotland - in fact he considered joining them before he chose politics. This is a rare case of the theological path being for the greater good so perhaps we should persuade him to change his mind.

More than 300.........jeez that's a heck of a lot! The question I am will these schools be policed to ensure compliance with the national standards and curriculum.... will they fall under the education inspectors remit?? Have to be honest and say I am a bit behind the curve here…….why the need for academies?.......Will they end up being like the Trusts are to the health sector??......inefficient, unworkable and a costly mistake?? Hope not!!!




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