Two more creationist free schools approved

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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:19 am

From todays TES regardng Steiner schools - who it would appear are also critics of Darwin.
www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6290223

which says
'Homeopathy? Sorry, we're just not swallowing it'

news | Published in TES magazine on 14 September, 2012 | By: Irena Barker


Comment:




Last Updated:

14 September, 2012


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news

. .


‘Anti-scientific’ Steiner schools use book that dismisses Darwin

State-funded Steiner schools have come under fire for promoting homeopathy and basing teaching on a book that criticises Darwinism.

The Steiner Academy Hereford, state-funded since 2008, has asked parents for permission to use homeopathic remedies for various ailments, including burns, and employs a doctor trained in complementary medicine. It also uses a controversial course book in science that claims Darwinism is “rooted in reductionist thinking and Victorian ethics”. The school says its aim is not to “promote scientific orthodoxy”.

Opposition has grown as the second state-funded Steiner school opened this week in Frome, Somerset, with a third due to open next year in Exeter, Devon.

David Colquhoun, professor of pharmacology at University College London, has lobbied education secretary Michael Gove to reconsider funding the Exeter school. “These schools are promoting anti-scientific nonsense and how the hell Gove agreed to fund them I don’t know,” he told TES.

Complementary medicine expert Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of the University of Exeter, added: “Steiner schools seem to have an anti-science agenda which is detrimental to progress… the government makes a grave mistake allowing pseudoscience and anti-science in our education.”

Questions have been raised about a book used as the foundation for science lessons, The Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum, which says the model of the heart as a pump is unable to explain “the sensitivity of the heart to emotions” and promotes homeopathy, which relies on a belief that illness can be fought with a diluted amount of the cause of the illness.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has raised concerns about Steiner schools employing “anthroposophical doctors”, experts in the complementary medicine developed by the schools’ founding father, Rudolf Steiner. The Steiner Academy Hereford confirmed that it employs a qualified doctor who is trained in anthroposophical treatment.

Richy Thompson, the BHA’s education officer, said it was “gravely concerning” that Steiner schools promoted homeopathy and based teaching on a book inconsistent with mainstream science. “How can pupils receive a vigorous science education under these circumstances?” he said. “It is gravely concerning that these schools provide alternative medicines such as homeopathy, thus legitimising belief in cures which do not work.”

Alan Swindell, a spokesman for the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship in the UK, said it was not the place of any school to “promote” an approach to medicine, either conventional or complementary. The science course book was not used by pupils, but was “one of many resources” teachers would refer to, he added.

Clarence Harvey, acting principal of the Steiner Academy Hereford, said: “It is not our aim to promote scientific orthodoxy, but rather to enable pupils to think and engage in independent verification of reality.”

Jenny Salmon, administrator of the independent Exeter Steiner School and a trust director of the town’s proposed Steiner academy, said: “Steiner schools attract people who have an alternative lifestyle. Fifty or 60 per cent of our parents consult complementary therapy. We do not expect this to be the case at the new Steiner academy.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “No state school is allowed to teach homeopathy as scientific fact. We have rigorous criteria for approving free schools. Applicants must demonstrate that they will provide a broad and balanced curriculum.”
Steiner style
The principles of Steiner education are based upon “anthroposophy”, the philosophy developed by its founder Rudolf Steiner. This is centred on using the mind and senses to explore a spirit world.
There are 34 Steiner schools in the UK, but only two are so far state funded.
They emphasise teaching through music and physical expression and creating an “unhurried environment” for children to learn in.



Photo: The Steiner Academy Hereford asked parents to sign consent forms for the


See the bit I've underlined - Where have we heard that before boys and girls? Prizes for guessing. Gormless gove strikes again but at least this time he's in tune with loopy Jeremy Hunt and will be preparing students for Murdoch sponsored medical degrees administering water :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby jon_12091 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:59 am

It also uses a controversial course book in science that claims Darwinism is “rooted in reductionist thinking and Victorian ethics”.

Philosophical rejections of a scientific theory are not actual proof that its wrong.

On the plus side this adds a bit of diversity to the otherwise monochrome pallet of Christian creationism and the whole idea 'gnome' just seems faintly hilarious.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Brian Jordan » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:00 am

Cathy wrote:
Questions have been raised about a book used as the foundation for science lessons, The Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum, which says the model of the heart as a pump is unable to explain “the sensitivity of the heart to emotions” and promotes homeopathy, which relies on a belief that illness can be fought with a diluted amount of the cause of the illness.
Never mind the homoeopathy, feel the cant. Certainly they have no mission to promote orthodox science - they clearly have no intention of teaching science at all.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:12 pm

Latest news from Grindon Hall. The funding agreement was finally signed 5th Sept. Here is what their watered down and much reduced website says.
FUNDING AGREEMENT SIGNED!

Many have congratulated me over the last couple of weeks on the signing of our funding agreement. I'm not sure where this information came from - certainly not from Grindon Hall. In fact our funding agreement was not actually signed until Wednesday 5th September - just last week! And even on Friday afternoon, key documents were still being signed to enable us to open this week.

It has been a long and arduous process but we have finally arrived at the point of opening and I personally reflect with gratitude on the enormous amount of help which so many people have given, and the hard work and determination of a number of DfE officials, especially Fiona Cummings our Project Lead and Paul Darling of the EFA .

As someone said recently: Grindon Hall is dead: long live Grindon Hall!


Fiona Cummings and Paul Darling? Probably just doing their jobs but any recognition or creationist links?
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:20 pm

Meanwhile it looks like Sevenoaks free school is pulling out all the stops. It has two open evenings planned. Even the most popular high schools here have just the one! And it is visiting all the local primaries!!! Not seen that happen anywhere else - schools touting for business in the primaries. Nasty!
http://www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk/?page_id=10

From their website.
We currently have two Open Evenings planned as follows

•Tuesday 2nd October 2012 at Dorton House School
•Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at Amherst School
We are also visiting local Primary Schools. Dates and details of forthcoming events may be found below. Click on the item to see times and venues.


And a public meeting tomorrow night (26th) as part of the consultation process.
Anyone local that could visit any of them? Ask a few questions?
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:28 pm

Oh and from their newsletter it looks like they're confident enough to be taking applications for next year as well. And offering independently! That was stopped eons ago. Individual LEAs offering independently was stopped in 2004 for 2005 to standardise national offers day and now this. That'll make it impossible for schools to know how many pupils are coming if parents are holding two offers :roll: . Bonkers bloody idiot Gove moron git! Neither schools nor some parents will know what the hell is going on even with the non creationist loon free schools.
Dear Supporters

I hope everyone had a really good break over the summer holidays.

A lot of progress has been made since we wrote to you on 13th July to let you know that our Free School bid had been successful, and that our school would be opening in September 2013.

First, and most importantly, we have now arranged Open Evenings for prospective parents and their offspring on Tuesday 2nd October at Dorton House School and Tuesday 23rd October at Amherst School. Full details will be available from our website soon.

Applications to the school will need to be submitted by the end of October. This year we are doing our own application process, in parallel with Kent County Council. This means that on National Offer Day, 1st March, parents who have applied to Sevenoaks Christian School will receive one offer from Kent County Council and another offer, potentially, from us. Many parents have told us that they are delighted that their children will, for this year only, have two state-funded options to choose from.Do you know anyone who might be a good Head for Sevenoaks Christian School? The job will be advertised in September, with interviews in October. We are looking for a practising Christian who will offer dynamic leadership to our school. I’ll write again in September to send you more information.

With best wishes

Heidi Botting
Sevenoaks Christian School
www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk

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Advert for head also interesting. They must be very confident :evil: :evil:
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:59 am

Got this from the anti academies alliance. Looks like some sect called the Exclusive Brethrens are applying to open free schools. Something like the Plymouth Brethren? Never heard of them. Anyway the link is to BHA. Looks like they are creationists, won't teach ICT cos technology is corrupting, RE won't be taught just the more narrow Bible Studies, Sex is corrupting (why haven't they died out - surely its the only way a religion can survive and where have the children for the free schools come from :shock: ) and homosexuality immoral so PHSE will be biased.

They've been turned down but note the bit I've underlined!!!! Like all creationists they are dishonest in not making clear their links. I really do think all the creationists are learning to hide their real intentions to get there bids accepted! Maybe that is where Paul has gone? A learning to keep your big gob shut and sound reasonable course? Sobbing Sylv will never manage it, but I really think some of them will in the interests of getting money!! And that is the scary thing.

www.humanism.org.uk/news/view/1114

Over the last two years, at least 15 private schools run by the Exclusive Brethren have applied to the Department for Education (DfE) for Free School status. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed concern that the beliefs of the Brethren may have trouble fitting in with mainstream education, and welcomes the rejection of the proposals by the DfE.

The Focus Learning Trust is a network of 39 private schools that teach in line with beliefs of the Exclusive Brethren. Schools from within the network known to have applied to open as Free Schools in 2013 include Wilton Park School, Surrey Hills School and Northmoor School, Cottingham. In addition, the DfE also received bids to open in 2012 from Tamar Valley School, Sefton Park School, Eastbrook School and Highfield School, and in an unstated year, from Ashton Park School, Copeswood School, Highcombe Edge School, Prospect School, Highview School and Moordale School.

Hornby Park School, run by the Brethren Christian Fellowship, also applied to open in 2013, and Focus School - Berkeley Campus, run by the Prospect Education Trust, announced last week that it is applying to open in 2014.

The Focus Learning Trust twice met with junior schools minister Lord Hill of Oareford in late 2010, to discuss coalition support for Free Schools. The Trust’s schools are inspected by their own body, the School Inspection Service (SIS), which in turn is inspected by Ofsted. SIS also inspects Steiner schools.

BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘We have a number of concerns about what is contained within the curriculum of these schools. They do not appear to offer ICT GCSE, but instead teach it within “Focus Learning Trust guidelines”; this is because they see technology as a potentially corrupting influence, and for many this leads them ill-equipped to deal with the outside world. They also do not offer standard Religious Education, but instead teach narrower “Bible Studies”. Many Exclusive Brethren groups are also creationist, so we would be concerned about the science taught in the schools. Finally, the Brethren view sex as corrupting, and homosexuality as immoral, so the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education is likely to be of a very subjective nature.

We are also concerned that many of the applying schools’ websites do not state their links to the Brethren, instead just stating they have a Christian ethos. And none of them mention their link to the Exclusive Brethren, who are even more secretive than the more common Plymouth Brethren. As a result, we are concerned that many parents who indicate support for the proposals will not realise what they are endorsing.
‘We are pleased that the Department for Education has rejected all Free School bids from Exclusive Brethren groups.’

Notes
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:53 pm

Paul Taylor referring to a rather out-of-date scientific view of how giraffes go their long necks (starting around 2 minutes' in): http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips ... t/442.html
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Brian Jordan » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:18 pm

cathy wrote:Got this from the anti academies alliance. Looks like some sect called the Exclusive Brethrens are applying to open free schools. Something like the Plymouth Brethren?
Same but moreso. The very kernel of the nut.
My blood pressure won't stand reading the following tonight, perhaps someone will tell me tomorrow whether it can be read without exploding? Otherwise, there's plenty on Google to raise eyebrows, at least.
http://eprints.worc.ac.uk/241/1/EXCLUSIVES.pdf
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:09 pm

Sevenoaks seems to be going strongly, and issuing the mandatory denials of creationism.
Claims the school was planning to teach creationism – the belief that God created the world in seven days – as fact sparked outrage, but representatives of the establishment denied this and said religious education would be balanced.

Mr Tate said: "I have, of course, heard some of the controversy. You are always going to get that – many people don't even believe in free schools, which is their choice – but on the whole we have had very positive reactions.
Thus positioning free schools as more believable than a 6000 year old universe? Sounds reasonable. :twisted:
http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Christian-Free-School-benefit-faiths/story-17211648-detail/story.html
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:52 am

He admitted details such as the policy of sex education in the school have not been ironed out, but insisted it would abide by government guidelines.

When questioned over how the school would deal with issues such as bullying, Mr Tate said they planned to look to their ethical guidelines to tackle any problems.


It's not just the creationism and associated loonies that free school policies let in its the fact that they get away with not having to follow any of the regulations that other schools do.

Real schools have to have all these policy documents in place or the fail Ofsted no matter how good. Sex eduction and anti byllying are standard!

Our anti bullying policy is huge and forms part of our yearly child protection training!

And child protection training is part of real schools. I don't think free schools have to bother - just as well when you consider the take of some of the creationist loons to beating children being a right and parents being free to do what they wish with their children or its an infringement of their rights!

Anything known about the head teacher?

Grindon Hall meanwhile is still top secret. All you get there now is that a new website is being prepared. All incriminating evidence found earlier (links to loopy Jesmond sermons) has been removed. Like a photo of Stalins buddies or real evidence for creationism - nothing.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:04 pm

From the Guardians jobs pages on 23rd November. Exemplar Newark Business Academy loon school are looking for a principal designate. Looks like they're fairly confident and all petitions from BHA have failed. :cry:
Role to commence 1st April 2013

Salary: Group 5 Range L18-L31 depending upon skills and experience

A unique opportunity to create and develop a new Free School

This is an exciting opportunity to provide day-to-day leadership to the setting up and running of an 11-16 secondary school with a five-form entry. The successful applicant will play a key role in: developing our values and ethos, shaping the curriculum, appointing and developing the ENBA school team, to form a school with an entrepreneurial spirit and Business and Enterprise specialism founded on a strong working partnership with parents, students and the community.

ENBA is a Free School located in the heart of Newark. Our goal is to have an excellent secondary school with a Christian ethos that will equip students to fulfill their potential in life. We are looking for an outstanding, innovative leader to work with the Academy Trust to make our vision a reality.

Are you:
•Determined to create a dynamic learning environment for young people, which delivers challenging targets?
•Business-minded in your approach to education?
•Self-motivated, with a track record of leading others successfully?
•Skilled in communicating with a wide group of stakeholders?
•Committed to creating and developing community partnerships?

If so, the Academy Trust looks forward to receiving your application.

To request further details, please click on the button below.

The appointment between 1 April and 31 August will be conditional; the permanent contract will be dependent on the Funding Agreement receiving Ministerial approval.
ENBA is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and the post is subject to enhanced disclosure procedures.

Closing date for applications: 10th December 2012
Though I've highlighted the bit that still offers hope.

Five form entry is huge byt the standards of a lot of schools! that is 150 kids per year group! In and untried and untested school? Are they going to remotely achieve that?
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby a_haworthroberts » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:41 pm

This is really a news story about teaching about Christianity in schools - but I cannot post at News and Links:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20468439
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:02 pm

Grindon Hall free christian school now seems to be registering on the Christian Schools Trust website as a CST school!!

I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case when they got funding unless we missed it?

Now as funding is dependent on NOT teaching creationism and membership of CST is dependent ON teaching creationism what happens now?
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:01 am

Does this mean it will be inspected by creationists? I assume not if it is a Free School.
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