Free schools in England must teach evolution to receive funding

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Ministers announced on Thursday that all free schools in England must educate their students about the theory of evolution to receive funding, the Guardian said.

This change in rules has followed lobbying by senior scientists expressed concern that free schools run by creationists could avoid teaching evolution, the BBC News said.

"The new clause in the funding agreement should ensure that all pupils at free schools have the opportunity to learn about evolution as an extensively evidenced theory and one of the most fundamentally important tentents of modern biology," Nobel-prizewinning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse said to the Guardian.

While creationism can be taught, it has to be taught as a religious concept and not as part of the science curriculum, the Guardian said.

If a free school breaches the rule and does not teach evolution, the Department for Education can take "swift action which could result in the termination of that funding agreement," the BBC News said.

Paul Bate, a member of the European Educators Christian Association, said that schools should teach a broad and balanced curriculum, the BBC News said.

"Science and religion need each other in this debate," Bate said to the BBC News. "Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time said, 'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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