Photo of Keith Vaz

Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her policy is on the teaching of creationism as a subject in schools; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Jacqui Smith

Jacqui Smith (Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills; Redditch, Labour)

Neither creationism nor intelligent design is taught as a subject in schools. The national curriculum programme of study for science at key stage 4 covers evolution. It sets out that pupils should be taught that the fossil record is evidence for evolution" and also how variation and selection may lead to evolution or extinction". Pupils should however be taught about how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence". Also, the biblical view of creation can be taught in RE lessons, where pupils are taught to consider opposing theories and come to their own, reasoned conclusions. Therefore, although creationism and intelligent design are not part of the national curriculum, they could be covered in these contexts.

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