Two more creationist free schools approved

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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:24 pm

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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:36 pm

He says nothing about how it will be taught in RE. Nor how the teaching of evolution will be policed. And Gareth Morgan is still listed plus many of the people involved seem to be church members.

The thing is how strictly can you police free schools and can you actually trust any creationist. And from bitter and long experience the answer to the second question is no they have no moral understanding that they are 100% wrong. The answer to the first quesion is it takes a wee while to get a handle on their methods of lying. They don't even lie openly and honestly.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:37 pm

Can any freedom of information thing get hold of the details of how and what they were going to teach was gone over at interview?
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Peter Henderson » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:10 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:Adam Rutherford on free schools and the Causeway as products of the Wedge Strategy.
Perhaps. The positions of the three schools are muddied by bland and, in my opinion, deliberately vague language, but they are explicit about not teaching creationism in science lessons, as they know that this as stated policy will bring about their extinction. Nevertheless, one of the schools, Grindon Hall, published a statement [http://www.grindonhall.com/documents/Creation%20Policy.docWord Doc] that includes phrases such as "the so-called ‘Big Bang’” and states that evolution will be taught as a “principle, as far as it goes”. It goes on to describe creationism as "an entirely respectable position scientifically". The head, Chris Gray, said the statement on the school's website is "out of date". He told the Guardian that it was “from a time when we were not as clear as we are now about the proper distinction as to what is taught in a science lesson and what might be taught in assembly – two different spheres”.

Does this sound like the language of someone who can be trusted to keep their boundaries in order?
http://newhumanist.org.uk/2841/ending-the-wedge


Excellent article Brian.

I’m loath to play guilt by association, but Christians need to condemn the subterfuge tactics being employed by their brethren. Creationists may share Jesus as their saviour with all Christians, but not their biblical literalism


I've been saying this for years but no one will listen.

However, in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland it's so bad that ministers are frightened of losing their jobs. That's how serious it is for anyone who speaks out publicly.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Brian Jordan » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:24 pm

Interesting stuff there Cathy - looks like my weekend's gone following it up! For starters, he was a director of Exemplar Academy from May 2011 to February 2012. Now it seems as though the Everyday Champions bid was turned down in October 2011 and the Exemplar Academy applied, phoenix-like, in January 2012. Whereupon Morgan bailed out. But the Exemplar Academy limited company was formed six months before the Champions bid was turned down, with Morgan as a director from the outset. Were they planning to open two creationist schools, or was the Exemplar academy a fall-back which they failed to adequately separate behind a Chinese wall?

I think we can safely say it's neither:
Companies House wrote:Previous Names:
Date of change Previous Name
27/02/2012 EVERYDAY CHAMPIONS ACADEMY
They're one and the same thing!
I've paid a quid and downloaded their articles of association, which make interesting reading but will take some digesting. Firstly, Morgan was one of only three directors (and the first listed). Secondly, for now, there's the following interesting snippet from the very end of what appears to be a standard government document which they've incorporated bodily (they seem to have been too lazy to type out their own version). More tomorrow when I've ploughed through all 56 pages!
141 The Members will each notify the Academy Trust and each other if at any time they believe that the Academy Trust or any of its subsidiaries has become subject to the influence of a local authority (as described in section 69 of the Local Government and Housing Act) 1989
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:04 pm

Simon Wright is not one of the Department for Education Ministerial team (who might have been present if any of the schools brought a delegation, though probably not during formal interviews with officials). He is however a PPS to Sarah Teather - who IS on the Ministerial team. (But I'm not sure whether she should/would share DfE business with her PPS.)
http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/de ... terialteam
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Brian Jordan » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:07 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:Today's BCSE blog flags THIS: http://www.libdemvoice.org/simon-wright ... 29497.html
And the man says this, which I've seen elsewhere in a similar context.
Our commitment to a balanced curriculum remains absolute.
Now why does that worry me?
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby ukantic » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:42 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:A good article by Nelson Jones on the New Statesman blog
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/sci-tech/2012/07/creationisms-far-unintelligent-design-our-schools
I knew a creationist once. He believed in a literal Adam and Eve and in the Tower of Babel, yet claimed to find natural selection implausible. He was no-one's idea of a knuckle-dragging, inbred redneck, either, but went on to gain a first class degree from Oxford.

He could argue me under the table, and often did, since with the naive overconfidence of youth I imagined that I might somehow be able to alter his mind by presenting it with facts. Small hope. His sharp, subtle, trap-like mind was entirely dedicated to defending propositions that had been obsolete since the middle of the nineteenth century. He knew all the rhetorical tricks and could deploy them with ease, weaving straw men with the skill of a master hatmaker from Montecristi.
He doesn't say what subject this paragon of nuttery went on to study but he does touch on the apologetic journalists who are playing down the danger of the creationists and adds a worry of his own, Well worth reading.


I've added the following comment on this:

“The respected Christian blogger known as Church Mouse suggests that the British Humanist Association's campaign against the schools amounts to "hysteria". Taking at face value the schools' declaimers, he asserts that none of them is a "creationist school". He suggests that opposition to them in motivated by two things: the political campaign against the Gove reforms (including the very concept of free schools) and the wider secularist dislike of state-funded faith schools in principle.”

Firstly, It is extremely naive to assume that just because a school which all the evidence indicates is in the business of proselytising extreme fundamentalist beliefs to children, says it will not teach creationism in science lessons, that it automatically means they are not teaching creationism in other areas of the curriculum. In fact, one of the things that worry opponents of creationism is that these schools can claim that they are not teaching creationism in science whilst at the same time undermining a student’s understanding of evolution by, for example, claiming that evolution is, “only a theory”, or questioning or misrepresenting well established tenets of evolution to create doubt in the theory. Google, “teach the controversy” for more on this.

To call anyone who supports such behaviour, “respectable” is just a sick joke.

Secondly, the secular concept that the state not show favouritism by using taxpayers money on indoctrinating children with the religious beliefs of the parent(s) is a perfectly legitimate and reasonable position. In fact, in America, one of the most religious countries on the planet, it is even written into their constitution. Google Establishment Clause to find out more.

Moreover, creationism is so extreme that even people with mainstream, moderate religious views are objecting to it as well. Are they being hysterical too?

Of course, political opponents of Gove are going to attempt to use the creationist controversy against him. But it is pure nonsense to claim that the opponents of creationism have other ulterior political motives. It is easy to accuse your opponent of being politically motivated, rather than addressing the issues they raise. It is a form of ad-hominem fallacy.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:53 am

Of course, political opponents of Gove are going to attempt to use the creationist controversy against him. But it is pure nonsense to claim that the opponents of creationism have other ulterior political motives. It is easy to accuse your opponent of being politically motivated, rather than addressing the issues they raise. It is a form of ad-hominem fallacy.


It's difficult to seperate the free schools policy from creationism (and Steinerism and all else) as it does open doors for them and it was always obvious that it would. And it is difficult to be supportive of the free school policy because of that and because of the money being chucked at them when real schools are suffering the biggest funding cuts I've ever seen.So it does sort of impact on his policies.

However I'm pretty sure that what Gove had in mind with his free school idea was not nutters opening schools but lots of his middle class Toby Young clone pals who'd been sitting round bemoaning the decline of traditional education and standards (which didn't happen) opening the sorts of schools that exist in Goves fantasies (and theirs). All saying how they'd do a much better job, forgetting the fact that a school has to equally cater for all the children in its care and not just their little darlings. The people that were traditionally playing the system being able to take it a stage further.

And the more I see the more I think Gove has some kind of fantasy world in his head, sort of 1950s famous five land. Returning to O levels, phonics (tho they are good) traditional school values (whatever they were - bullying in the dorm and midnight feasts, difficult to incorporate in real world where the kids go home). What he got instead were people who wanted to return to the dark ages and gain control over childrens minds. I went to an RC school in the days when they were still used to attempt to indoctrinate! They failed cos they forgot to interfere with the rest of our education in subjects, but it still wasn't nice and we're all still riddled with guilt about everything from Syrian massacres to forgotten library books.

So I think it is well worth using those facts! Point out that his whole notion of parental choice and raising standards (bluergh) is being made a laughing stock by being hi jacked by fringe nutters that are far less appealing than even his worse vision of a sink school! And that dragging childrens education back into creationist lunacy is not going to raise standards at all.

So I agree with ukantic, much as I loathe Gove and think all his policies are shite - lots of people should oppose creationist schools purely on the grounds of creationism. It would even be worth getting Goves pet policy fan Toby Young to express an opinion. His school is popular and I suspect what Gove wanted. And the religious bodies need to be on board as well, and existing state faith schools. Creationism is just too dangerous in its own right not to fight or put aside other issues for the time being..
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:08 am

Interesting stuff there Cathy - looks like my weekend's gone following it up! For starters, he was a director of Exemplar Academy from May 2011 to February 2012. Now it seems as though the Everyday Champions bid was turned down in October 2011 and the Exemplar Academy applied, phoenix-like, in January 2012. Whereupon Morgan bailed out. But the Exemplar Academy limited company was formed six months before the Champions bid was turned down, with Morgan as a director from the outset. Were they planning to open two creationist schools, or was the Exemplar academy a fall-back which they failed to adequately separate behind a Chinese wall?


A lot of the team involved in Exemplar initially looked to have been involved in the original. And there are still church members on the board as far as I can see. I don't think Exemplar was a fall back I thought it was genuinely new trick as I think the changes in funding rules to preclude creationist schools came after their bid was underway? Maybe they recognised which way the wind was blowing?

Our commitment to a balanced curriculum remains absolute. Now why does that worry me?

We've seen it everywhere, C4ID, Marc, DT, Garner, TiS. The biggest hurdle facing DfE and any rules on creationist schools is weeding out the changing lingo. Teach the controversy morphs into critically evaluating evolution into balance and open mindedness. The problem is creationists have proved again and again that they cannot be trusted. And RE isn't really that well controlled anyway unlike science. Not before KS4 when gcses kick in and the exam boards dictate what is taught. 99% of state schools handle it really well - and the gcse exam boards I've had a quick look at for creation stories all seem fairly standard boiling down to roughly just telling the christian creation story and pointing out that some people believe it literally and don't accept the science for religious reasons, some metaphorically and some don't believe it at all. Nothing more nor less which is true.

It doesn't take a huge step to move that the KS3, increase the amount of time spent from half a page in KS4 to a lot of time in both key stages, and say the creationists have their own scientific evidence. Push the old they have the same evidence just interpret it differently crap. That was easily seen in the Islamic school Dawkins visited in the faith school menace. There are lots of ways to undermine science teaching and not break rules! :evil: It is after all what Sobbing Sylv and her CST schools do. By the time children have to learn evolution in science they've already been screwed. More evolution and earlier won't work in free schools either. Balance is a meaningless phrase it just means offer a range of subjects doesn't dictate how.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:28 am

cathy wrote:
Of course, political opponents of Gove are going to attempt to use the creationist controversy against him. But it is pure nonsense to claim that the opponents of creationism have other ulterior political motives. It is easy to accuse your opponent of being politically motivated, rather than addressing the issues they raise. It is a form of ad-hominem fallacy.


It's difficult to seperate the free schools policy from creationism (and Steinerism and all else) as it does open doors for them and it was always obvious that it would. And it is difficult to be supportive of the free school policy because of that and because of the money being chucked at them when real schools are suffering the biggest funding cuts I've ever seen.So it does sort of impact on his policies.



It looks to me to be yesterday's "solution" using yesterday's thinking. It's long been public policy under both the Tories and Labour to separate financing of public services from operation of them. One of the reasons is that the political right does not like unions. They push up costs - dunno what current thinking is but the old rule of thumb was that unions push up wages rates to, on average, 10% higher than in similar non-unionised organisations.

But the underlying "philosophy" goes deeper than that. Much of the right sees the public sector as consuming wealth, all of which, it implies, comes from the efforts of the private sector. Moreover, "markets" are necessary to have economic "efficiency".

Fine but the world has moved on. The public sector is under pressure not because it is "inefficient" but because the private sector system, in the form of banking" has been a spectacular failure and unbelievably inefficient, far far more inefficient that the old nationalised industries every knew how to be. The City's failure has been on the scale of the failure of the old Soviet economy. The City's risks have been socialised and passed on to the public whilst its profits remain totally privatised.

The City is nothing more than a public welfare scam costing about 25% of all tax revenues in the UK - well over double the cost of the NHS and private healthcare combined and probably twice that of all education.

I'm afraid to say that the problem of the banking system in the UK hasn't even been remotely addressed - Education "reform" is a side show based on yesterday's thinking and issues.

Interesting the IMF has told the government this week in no uncertain terms that it is making a pig's ear of the economy - cutting back too quickly and failing to address the problem of chronically overpriced housing. Alas there are no votes amongst the Tory middle classes in reducing housing prices so it won't happen until the next big economic crisis hits the UK.

To put it crudely, the UK's problem isn't education at all - it's that the City of London is a state within a state, unaccountable to anyone, even the law, which has become parasitical on its host.
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Brian Jordan » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:38 am

Just as an aside, all is not going well for Grindon Hall:
Parents in limbo thanks to Grindon Hall school 'shambles'

by Nicola Weatherall, The Journal
Jul 20 2012

FAMILIES who applied for a place at a free school due to open this September still don’t know whether they have one after Government funding failed to appear.

Read More http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east ... z21FSBf4IH
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:39 am

Is this blog anything related to nasty Nick Cowans, eg a son? A Stewart Cowan blogging on nasty humanists hurting creationists. Spot on creationist language and same name.

http://www.realstreet.co.uk/

Education "reform" is a side show based on yesterday's thinking and issues.

Gove has said he is not averse in principle to free schools making a profit. How do you make a profit in state education exactly? Privatisation by the back door, education based on who can pay just to back up the greedy bankers! :evil: :evil:

The ultimate nightmare a world will be run by bankers and creationist loons. :cry:
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby cathy » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:41 am

Just as an aside, all is not going well for Grindon Hall:
Parents in limbo thanks to Grindon Hall school 'shambles'

Welcome to the world of govt funding. Half the money we were promised for being in the first wave of academies didn't materialise. Yet we still did Goves dirty work.
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Re: Two more creationist free schools approved

Postby Brian Jordan » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:11 am

cathy wrote:
Our commitment to a balanced curriculum remains absolute. Now why does that worry me?
We've seen it everywhere, C4ID, Marc, DT, Garner, TiS.
As it turns out, it's just meaningless verbiage. It comes from the Government in the Free Schools standard Articles of Association:
OBJECTS
4 The Academy Trust's object ("the Object") is specifically restricted to the
following to advance for the public benefit education in the United Kingdom,
in particular but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing by
establishing, maintaining, carrying on, managing and developing a school
offering a broad and balanced curriculum ("the Academy")
Clearly just there so the schools can claim not to be pushing nutty or sectarian agendas while leaving it undefined so they can do just that.
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