Saturday, 19 October 2013

BCSE writes to Lord Nash re Al Madinah School

text of letter sent 19/10/13;

Dear John,

Al Madinah school
In addition to the concerns you express in your letter to the school of 8th October, we wish to draw your attention to the following, originally part of the school manifesto but now removed:

"In each and every department, all efforts will be geared towards ensuring the books and resources conform to the teachings of Islam. Sensitive, inaccurate and potentially blasphemous material will be censored or removed completely. If and when teachers are required by the curriculum to convey teachings that are totally against Islam (such as Darwinism), the Director of Islamic Studies will brief the relevant teachers and advise accordingly."

We must therefore ask you what action you intend to take to ensure that the school is not in breach of the guidance to Free School applicants regarding the teaching of evolution, which states "We would expect to see evolution and its foundation topics fully included in any science curriculum. We do not expect creationism, intelligent design and similar ideas to be taught as valid scientific theories in any state funded school"

And the funding agreement between DfE and free schools, section 24A of which says "The Academy Trust shall not make provision in the context of any subject for the teaching, as an evidence- based view or theory, of any view or theory that is contrary to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations..”

And Section 24B which says “The Academy Trust shall make provision for the teaching of evolution as a comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced theory.”

Given that the school has made it clear that it regards evolution (or, as the school called it, Darwinism) as un-Islamic, what steps do you plan to take to ensure that the school fulfills this part of its contractual obligations?

Allowing schools, in the name of religion, to teach core scientific concepts in a way that ensures they will not be believed makes a mockery of religion, science, and education.


Paul S. Braterman, MA., DPhil., DSc., Professor Emeritus (U. North Texas), Honorary Senior Research Fellow (University of Glasgow) (Scottish representative)

The Rev Michael Roberts B.A., M.A. , Dip.Th., F.R.Hist., BCSE Spokesperson M.A. F.R.Hist.S. (retired Anglican Vicar)

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