Creationist school opens
A new £20m school which will teach "creationism", opens on Teesside today (Monday).
The King's Academy in Middlesbrough, is a partnership between the Department for Education and the Wearside-based Vardy Foundation.
It is a sister facility to Gateshead's Emmanuel College, which already has a "creationism" curriculum.
The boss of Sunderland-based car dealership Reg Vardy has provided much of the cash for the school - and plans more throughout the UK.
All teach creationism alongside the theory of evolution.
Pupils there are taught that the belief that the Genesis account in the Hebrew scriptures is literally true.
King's Academy principal, Nigel McQuoid, said: "The academy's principal objectives are to increase educational opportunities and to provide the very best learning experience for the young people of Middlesbrough."
"Our goal will be to deliver highly skilled, well qualified, confident, enterprising, creative and moral citizens who are ready for the adult world."
"However, most of all, we hope to see young people emerge with a set of personal and spiritual values which will sustain and inspire them through life."
The teaching of biblical creation in schools has been criticised by Richard Dawkins, professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University. It has also been questioned by Christians who do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative.
The national curriculum requires that Darwinian evolution is put across as the dominant scientific theory, but also requires that pupils are taught "how scientific controversies can result from different ways of interpreting empirical data".