In what's being heralded as a secular triumph, the UK government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools.
The government released a new set of funding agreements in a little noticed document last week, including clauses which specifically prohibit pseudoscience.
The funding agreement defines creationism as "any doctrine or theory which holds that natural biological processes cannot account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth and therefore rejects the scientific theory of evolution," and goes on to note that this idea is rejected not only by the scientific community but most mainstream churches as well.
"It does not accord with the scientific consensus or the very large body of established scientific evidence; nor does it accurately and consistently employ the scientific method, and as such it should not be presented to pupils at the Academy as a scientific theory," the agreement states.
It then adds: "The requirement on every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school."
It is a significant victory for those seeking science classrooms free from religion.
The British Humanist Association, which has been advocating for the change since 2011, congratulated the Government on the move.
"[We] believe that... the objectives of the campaign are largely met," noted BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal in a statement.
"However, there are other ongoing areas of concern, for example the large number of state financed creationist nurseries, or the inadequate inspection of private creationist schools, and continued vigilance is needed in the state-funded sector.
'We will continue to work for reform in the remaining areas, but are pleased that the vast majority of issues are now dealt with."
The move stands in stark contrast to what is going on in schools stateside. Earlier this year, Politico reported that taxpayer funded private schools included "hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies."
In the UK, every free school and academy is required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in its funding agreement - the explicit statement that creationism is incompatible with it bars the teaching of it as a scientific theory.
The move is the culmination of a long campaign by secularists, who first succeeded in getting creationism banned from all future free schools, then future stand-alone academies and then finally all future multi-academy trusts.
In 2012, the UK government banned all future free schools from teaching creationism as science, requiring them to teach natural selection.
At the time, however, it didn't extend those requirement to academies, nor did the changes apply to existing free schools. The new changes mean all public-funded schools — present or future — from teaching creationism as evidence-based theory.Suggest a correction