I recently cited a Times piece on the suggestion by some academics that creationism should be discussed in science lessons, to avoid alienating those of strong religious faith. Now in today's Sunday Times (£) we learn that some exam boards are happy to compromise with faith schools so that their "religious beliefs can be respected":
Exam boards have been accused of colluding with faith schools to “censor” exam papers that contain questions on evolution and human reproduction.
The boards are said to be “accommodating creationism in the classroom” by working with schools that want to remove questions in GCSE papers that conflict with their religious beliefs.
One of England’s most respected exam boards, OCR, has a policy of reaching agreement with faith schools about removing such questions. Papers obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show the board believes it is important to respect the schools’ need to do this “in view of their religious beliefs”.
The move has been condemned by key figures in the education world who accuse the board of helping to deny children the right to take part fully in exams and learn the full curriculum.
The policy emerged after an ultra-orthodox Jewish girls’ school in north London was said to have redacted a question in a GCSE science paper on evolution because it conflicted with religious teaching.
In a memo last summer Mark Dawe, chief executive of OCR, said such redaction had “significantly wider implications and could apply to other faith schools”.
He said the exam board wanted to reach an agreement with schools about how unwanted questions should be dealt with “by stipulating how, when and where the redactions take place . . . but at the same time respect their need to do this in view of their religious beliefs”.
Why on earth should an exam board be so keen to "respect" religious beliefs when it comes to tampering with the syllabus?
But I suppose that's the logic of faith schools.