Michael Gove has defended his decision to allow some state funded free schools to be run by creationist groups, insisting their ability to cut out billions of years of facts highlights their overall efficiency.
Grindon Hall Christian school in Sunderland, a private school due to reopen in September with state funding, says on its website that it will present creationism as science and perform exorcisms on any child absent as a result of sickness.
The Grindon Hall principal, Chris Gray, insisted that pupils would be free to ask questions, and denied that they would adopt a ‘teach the controversy’ approach to get around free schools not being allowed to teach ‘creationism’ or ‘intelligent design’ in science lessons.
“We will actively encourage children to ask questions because the answers are all right here in the Bible,” he said.
“However, any further questions based on these answers will result in pupils being sent to the heresy room.”
Creationist school approved by Gove
With dinosaur denying and rib counting expected to form part of the curriculum, Mr Gove said that the schools would provide a unique opportunity for pupils to experience education from a completely different perspective.
“Up until now schools have adopted an approach that enables children to gain an understanding through the use of facts, and one that allows pupils to ask questions to further that understanding,” he explained.
“But facts don’t always tell the whole story.”
“Sometimes it’s important to form a child’s understanding of the world on stories that are so far-fetched they make Lord of the Rings look like a fly-on-the-wall documentary.”
“It’s all about choice.”