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More information on the BHA's work on evolution and creationism
More about these issues
Teach evolution, not creationism!
British Humanist Association
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Write to your MP about censored exam questions, creationist nurseries and Zoo
We’re encouraging people to write to their MPs
due to concerns about
a state school censoring exam questions on evolution (and Ofqual’s initial acceptance of this), state funding for creationist nurseries, and the endorsement of a creationist zoo by Learning Outside the Classroom.
We’ve suggested some text you can use below, but please do edit it to make it more personal – we know that MPs are more likely to take notice of personalised emails and queries. Here are some ways you might want to do that:
- If you are a parent or carer… then please emphasise this fact and the importance of a strong scientific education, and how concerning it is to see the state not taking a robust enough stance on these issues.
- If you are a teacher or governor… then please emphasise this fact and your own experience teaching.
- If you are a scientist… then please emphasise the value of science to society, and how important it is that children are not denied knowledge about evolution but equally not taught creationism as scientifically valid.
There is no need to address your email with 'Dear...' as our system automatically addresses it to your MP.
You can see the work we’ve done on evolution and creationism by following the links on the left. If you have any other queries, please contact us at
Feel free to use this box to add to the email text below
I am writing as your constituent to express my view that the UK Government needs to take a robust response on a number of problems that have arisen with respect to evolution and young earth creationism in English state funded schools. I am concerned that this is currently not the case. In particular, there are three separate issues that have been the cause of recent controversy in the media and which I would like to bring to your attention: 1. Last year it was discovered that Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School, a Charedi Jewish state secondary school in Hackney, had censored exam questions for religious reasons. The school teaches creationism to every year group and does not teach sex education (despite being a maintained school and therefore legally obliged to do so). The censored questions are widely reported to have been on evolution and might have also covered sex education. Worryingly, when this came to light, OCR (the exam board) and Ofqual both accepted it. Thankfully both have since reversed their policies and said that censorship is not allowed. However, the Government must take a robust approach to ensure that Yesodey Hatorah meets its legal obligations to teach evolution and sex education as part of the science national curriculum, and does not teach creationism as scientifically valid. 2. Recently the British Humanist Association has discovered that 67 nurseries are receiving state funding through the scheme to provide free places to two to four year olds, in spite of teaching pseudoscience which would make it unacceptable for them to gain state funding through any other programme (for example as Free Schools). Amongst them are, for example, the Accelerated Christian Education schools, which are not only pseudoscientific but also homophobic and misogynistic. There are reports that at least one of the ACE schools is using its nursery funding to reduce entry fees for the attached private school. I think this is unacceptable. I understand the Government is currently investigating this matter and would like to encourage them to stop this funding. 3. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) has recently awarded its Quality Badge to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, a creationist zoo in Bristol – thereby endorsing it as a place for school trips. The Quality Badge scheme was set up by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2008. The scheme is intended to recognise ‘good quality learning outside the classroom’. But it is clearly not good quality learning to teach creationism as a scientific theory, as Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm does. Disappointingly, the Government has refused to put pressure on CLOtC over this matter. The Zoo should not have received this endorsement. The UK Government has a very clear policy that every young person in state schools should learn about evolution, and this is reflected by the fact that it is putting evolution on the primary national curriculum, and made it a requirement for Free Schools to teach evolution. It is equally clear that young earth creationism and intelligent design are not scientifically valid and should not be taught as such. The Government has a policy of rejecting creationist groups that apply for funding as Free Schools and has precluded Free Schools from teaching pseudoscience. It is therefore concerning to see these three situations arise where what is happening seems to run counter to Government policy. I would like to ask if you would make representations on my behalf to Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove and CLOtC Chief Executive Beth Gardner on these important matters. With best wishes,
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