Free schools in U.K. are required to teach evolution.
Failing to teach evolution by natural selection in science lessons could lead to new free schools losing their funding under government changes.
The new rules state that from 2013, all free schools in England must teach evolution as a “comprehensive and coherent scientific theory”.
The move follows scientists’ concerns that free schools run by creationists might avoid teaching evolution.
Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said he was “delighted”.
Sir Paul told BBC News the previous rules on free schools and the teaching of evolution versus creationism had been “not tight enough”.
Free schools are funded directly by government but are run by groups of parents, teachers, charities and religious groups. Strangely, they do not have to abide by the national curriculum except for this, it appears. If they teach creationism as fact, or don’t teach evolution, they could have funding terminated. I’m left with questions as to how this can be enforced.
The U.S. on the other hand had state curriculums which vary. The adoption of such key concepts into the science curriculum (evolution, climate change), are often contentious.
What is most striking about this piece in the BBC News is how uncontentious this seems to be. Compared to the rhetoric that would be surrounding this topic in the U.S., it’s much more pleasant to read about things like this.