Huffpost UK Universities & Education

Michael Gove's King James Bibles Sent To Blind Students Who Can't Read Them

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The bibles have been sent to every state school in England
The bibles have been sent to every state school in England

Michael Gove's controversial bibles have racked up yet more headlines after it was claimed copies were sent to blind students - even though they cannot read them.

The King James bibles were distributed to special needs schools but the Department for Education did not take into account the copies would need adapting, according to the Political Scrapbook blog.

"This is a huge cock up," an anonymous source told the website. "The small print means students with sight problems can't read it, while the thin paper rules it out for many students with physical disabilities."

In November, the DfE announced every school in England would receive a copy of the King James bible, with a foreword by the education secretary himself.

But many have criticised the move, particularly after it was revealed the £375,000 bill would most likely be paid by the taxpayer, despite David Cameron reportedly telling Gove to keep his hands off the public purse.

Secular groups have also attacked the plans, arguing circulating the bibles favours Christianity in multi-faith schools and is a "waste of money".

A spokeswoman from the National Blind Children's Society told HuffPost the charity would "not be impressed" with the education secretary if visually impaired children did not have access to the bible.

"Part of our aim is to make sure all children with visual difficulties that they have every opportunity that's possible to enable them to fulfil their potential.

"This would certainly be an instance where we feel they should have access just as sighted children do to something which is provided free by the state. They should not be excluded and they should have access to formats they can read."

A DfE spokesperson said:

“There is a large range of multi-media support materials online that will help schools bring the text alive for all children, including those with special educational needs. Teachers are skilled at adapting and presenting material to suit the needs of pupils whatever their learning difficulty.”

The department added it wanted to give every pupil the opportunity to understand the "profound impact" the King James' Bible has had on "our culture, history language, literacy and democracy".

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