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Creationism in UK faith schools:

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Tetenterre
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Creationism in UK faith schools:

#1 Postby Tetenterre » March 2nd, 2014, 7:17 am

Government complicit in redaction of exam questions on evolution http://t.co/VzvL6wokcR

On the batphone, so expect weird autocorrect
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Altfish
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#2 Postby Altfish » March 2nd, 2014, 6:02 pm

Why does anyone think that religious schools are a good idea?

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Alan H
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#3 Postby Alan H » March 2nd, 2014, 6:20 pm

Altfish wrote:Why does anyone think that religious schools are a good idea?
A good question. Is it something to do with dogma, apparent 'choice' for parents and the General Election?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Tetenterre
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#4 Postby Tetenterre » March 2nd, 2014, 7:40 pm

From NI a while back:
http://newint.org/sections/argument/201 ... h-schools/

On the batphone, so expect weird autocorrect
Steve

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Alan H
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#5 Postby Alan H » March 3rd, 2014, 6:48 pm

Ofqual and exam boards collude with ‘faith’ schools to censor questions on evolution

WTF are we allowing to happen these days? There was a time - just a few years ago - where I thought we were making progress against the insidious influence of religion. Now, I despair. It will take years to undo the harm being done to society and get us moving forwards, not backwards.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#6 Postby Dave B » March 3rd, 2014, 7:38 pm

Alan H wrote:Ofqual and exam boards collude with ‘faith’ schools to censor questions on evolution

WTF are we allowing to happen these days? There was a time - just a few years ago - where I thought we were making progress against the insidious influence of religion. Now, I despair. It will take years to undo the harm being done to society and get us moving forwards, not backwards.
I agree, Alan, but how do "we" fight back?

Democracy is a word that becomes meaningless, the government does what it wishes within the frame of, largely, public apathy. So it is only those with motivation who will do. There still seem to be a larger number of those motivated towards these policies than against, and they are either in power or have the ear of it.

If we could get a hundred thousand people to target their MPs on this we might make an impression. Humanists may be a little more organised but we would need all those individualist atheists as well I think.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Altfish
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#7 Postby Altfish » March 3rd, 2014, 9:01 pm

It is annoying that atheists, according to the 2011 UK Census, make up over 25% of the population; Muslims 4.8%. Muslim is the second largest religious group after Christianity.
Yet in terms of influence Muslims have much more clout than Atheists, whereas Christianity has a disproportionate influence on politics.

The other area we need to change is the accommodationists; and to be honest the left wing are worst at this for fear of being racist; this is the "OK because of your religion you can get away with that" reaction. The exam board in this case probably is congratulating itself on how it has handled the situation.

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Dave B
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#8 Postby Dave B » March 3rd, 2014, 9:36 pm

The word "group" in your post is the critical one, Altfish. Muslims are a unified, coherent (?) group in society. Atheists are a bunch of people only a small fraction of which are in any way interested in associating with other atheists.

I wonder if all the atheist/secular forums on the web respond to calls to join petitions? It would be a start if we could contact every such group and find out just what sort of action they take. I will start a thread, if anyone knows of groups or forums that can be added to the first post (chat after) shall we see how big a list we can make?

Then can we agree on a form of letter that we can email all these groups to get them to share info on petitions or other actions.

Alan, if this seems doable and might achieve something could you offer associate membership to the group/forum leaders to TH so they can come on and use the thread? That's if they want to do this as well!

Just chucking ideas in the pot for the moment.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Altfish
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#9 Postby Altfish » March 3rd, 2014, 9:55 pm

Who was it that said something like, "Organising atheists is like trying to herd cats"? Part of me says, 'and long may it remain so' but I do appreciate that that is a weakness as well.

There are often calls to sign petitions on various websites, including this one; but I'm not convinced of the worth of petitions, letters to your MP may help but petitions, I have my doubts.

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Dave B
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#10 Postby Dave B » March 4th, 2014, 9:20 am

The idea is not to "organise" them into anything like "The British Atheist Association" or whatever - just to get them to sing from the same song sheet when something fundamental happens - like exams being altered to mollify the feelings of the religious at the expense of teaching the kids the truth. Individuals may have their own opinions but if even 50% of every atheist/humanist/secularist organisation's membership joined in a common cause that might still be a significant number.

If we can't get together on such things we stand little chance of getting the problems sorted out - we can be sure the religionistas (in this country at least) will be fairly united on things like creationism. Though I do seem to remember that some individual priests are a little more intelligent.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Alan H
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#11 Postby Alan H » March 28th, 2014, 10:07 am

From the BHA:

Yesodey Hatorah says censoring exam questions ‘has successfully been in place within the Charedi schools throughout England for many years'

In a letter to parents last year after controversy erupted around its blacking out of a GCSE science exam question – which is being disclosed today for the first time – Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School in Hackney said that the system of censoring exam questions ‘has successfully been in place within the charedi schools throughout England for many years, and to date has never posed a problem with the Examination Boards.’ In response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by the British Humanist Association (BHA), the state school also said that it teaches creationism ‘to all year groups throughout the school’ and that it ‘does not teach Sex education’. The BHA has expressed alarm that the situation has gone undetected for so long.

Other findings of the BHA’s FoI request include:

* In addition to admitting the longstanding nature of the practice and claiming that other schools have been doing likewise, suggesting that the issue is much more widespread than previously established, Yesodey Hatorah also said that it has no record of when this has happened in the past: ‘We do not keep a list of when papers are redacted and we have no written policy on redaction.’ Ofqual has been investigating the matter since the school’s behaviour was discovered last year. It recently told the BHA it is aware of one other school, an independent Charedi school in north London, that has similarly engaging in this practice, but is now questioning all the exam boards in order to establish the extent of the issue.

* The school says that it ‘teaches evolution in Jewish Studies.’ As the school is a maintained school it is legally required to teach the science national curriculum, which includes coverage of evolution in year ten and, from September, year six.

* However, the school also says that creationism ‘is taught to all year groups throughout the school in Jewish Studies.’ Government policy is clear that creationism should not be taught by state schools as scientifically valid in any subject. Coupled with recent comments made by the principal in the Telegraph, this policy seems to be being broken.

* The school has told the BHA that ‘The school does not teach Sex education because in practice all parents will exercise their statutory right to withdraw their children from Sex Education.’ This is in fact unlawful. As a maintained school, the school has to teach the aspects of sex education that appear in national curriculum science, namely anatomy, puberty and reproduction. Parents are not allowed to withdraw their children from this. Maintained schools are legally obliged to teach a sex and relationships education programme that includes information on sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS, although parents can indeed withdraw their children from this.

* Finally, the school refused to provide any correspondence with Ofqual and exam boards, claiming that it is exempt from disclosure because such disclosure would be likely to prejudice a public authority (i.e. Ofqual and OCR) in ‘ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which is improper’ and in ‘ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise’.

BHA Education Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘The school’s answers to our freedom of information request suggest that it is been breaking the law with respect to sex education and is contravening Government policy with respect to the teaching of creationism.

‘It is deeply concerning to hear from the school that it has been censoring exam questions for years and that this practice is widespread. Ofqual and the Government urgently need to get a handle on this situation and ensure that it is brought to a halt. We recently met with them both to discuss this matter and will be following the issue up with them today.’
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Altfish
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#12 Postby Altfish » March 28th, 2014, 10:25 am

OK, Mr Gove, it is time for you to step in.

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Alan H
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#13 Postby Alan H » March 28th, 2014, 10:47 am

Altfish wrote:OK, Mr Gove, it is time for you to step in.
Someone in this Government need to step up to the mark and sort this nonsense out once and for all. I'm not holding my breath, though.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Altfish
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#14 Postby Altfish » March 28th, 2014, 10:48 am

Alan H wrote:
Altfish wrote:OK, Mr Gove, it is time for you to step in.
Someone in this Government need to step up to the mark and sort this nonsense out once and for all. I'm not holding my breath, though.

No, unfortunately they fear losing the 'faith' vote

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Alan H
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#15 Postby Alan H » March 31st, 2014, 12:54 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#16 Postby Alan H » March 31st, 2014, 2:03 pm

Update 13:40: In the hour since we published this news item, Ofqual has also published a letter to exam boards saying that it will no longer allow redaction of exam papers. We have updated our news item below to reflect this.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#17 Postby Dave B » March 31st, 2014, 4:51 pm

Another success for rationality over "faith".
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#18 Postby Alan H » June 18th, 2014, 10:50 am

Government bans all existing and future Academies and Free Schools from teaching creationism as science
The Government has changed the rules to preclude all Academies and Free Schools, both those that already exist and those that will open in the future, from teaching pseudoscientific ideas such as creationism as scientifically valid. The changes have been made through extending an explicit ban to all future Academies and Free Schools, but also by clarifying that it believes the requirement to teach a broad and balanced curriculum means no existing Academies and Free Schools can teach pseudoscience either. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed the news as representing a significant step towards achieving one of its longstanding policy goals.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#19 Postby Dave B » June 18th, 2014, 10:53 am

Are faith schools allowed to teach "creation science"?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Altfish
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Re: Creationism in UK faith schools:

#20 Postby Altfish » June 18th, 2014, 11:14 am

Dave B wrote:Are faith schools allowed to teach "creation science"?


I think the link that Alan posted will make it increasingly difficult for them to do so.
Alice Roberts was on Newsnight and won the argument with the ACE apologist ...

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Children-t ... story.html

The video is on YouTube here...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LvcOcv9wcA


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