How to indoctrinate your kids: A Christian curriculum guide

In yesterday's post, I wrote about a conversation with Cindy, a supervisor in an Accelerated Christian Education school who joined the ACE Exposed Facebook group. We saw how much of the ACE science curriculum in the early grades consists of memorising what God did on each of the six days of creation. Cindy had said that all the information in the early grades of the curriculum was accurate. I dispute this.But actually, I suspect that Cindy is more right than wrong. I think the majority of … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Two meaningless creationist ‘science’ lessons

This week, a woman who works in an ACE school in Canada joined the Facebook group Accelerated Christian Education Exposed (which you're welcome to join). To her credit, she was genuinely interested to learn why the group's members dislike ACE. Less to her credit, this was because she could not fathom anyone not loving ACE. The group is public, so I'll use her real name, Cindy.The thread she started ended up with more than 100 posts, with dozens of ex-ACE students explaining why they felt … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

“No sex education, just scorn and disapproval”: Life in Christian school

This is a guest post submitted by a friend of mine to Faith Schoolers Anonymous. I went to a church-run private school in a generic town from the age of eight all the way through to the end of my GCSEs. The school was the result of the idealistic thinking of enthusiastic non-denominational charismatic Christians in the 1980s. It started off with some unqualified volunteer teachers, a classroom converted from a World War II bunker and some sexist rules about women not being able to wear … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

The terrifying entry conditions for abusive Christian reform homes

If you've read this blog, you'll be aware of abuses at Christian 'troubled teen' reform homes. These places call themselves educational facilities but are more like prison camps. Some are surrounded by barbed wire.Despite all the evidence that has come forward, despite the dozens of independent testimonies from former detainees, all of which describe similar situations and similar abuses, and despite successful prosecutions for abuse in some of these homes, there are still people who … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

New Christian school whistleblowers speak out about creationism and sexism (UK)

Two former Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) students who have never before spoken publicly have made new allegations about sexist and creationist teaching in the schools.In an article titled "Christian fundamentalist schools teaching girls they must obey men", one of the new whistle-blowers, Cheryl Povey, says: I came across a lot of sexism. I remember as a girl finding it quite shocking. We were taught that if you’re a woman, you should be subservient to men; your husband, your pastor … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Former student blows the lid off Emmanuel College’s creationist cover-up

In 2015 I was speaking at a geek convention, where I ran into two excellent people (and a lot of other excellent people, actually, but two I'm going to tell you about). One of them went to an ACE school in Oxfordshire, and the other one, who I'll call Esther, went to Emmanuel College, Gateshead. After my talk we all went for a curry, and as we were walking, Esther started talking about how she'd been taught creationism at the school.This is an explosive allegation. There was a minor media … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Announcing Faith Schoolers Anonymous

I'm really excited to announce the launch of a website which I hope is going to change the public discussion of faith schools in the UK (and I hope that there will be opportunities to spread its influence more widely). First, some backstory.If you follow this blog (and given how long it's been since I last posted, let me say thanks for sticking around!) you'll also be aware of Homeschoolers Anonymous, the narrative-sharing platform where people who suffered abuse or educational neglect in … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

UK government plans to silence critics of faith schools

While I'm pretending this blog is a news site...Our estimable education secretary, Nicola Morgan, has announced plans to ban organisations and campaign groups from making formal complaints about faith schools. Under her regime, only those living in the local area would be able to complain about unfair admissions.Why this and why now?Well, last year the Fair Admissions Campaign and the British Humanist Association released a report in which they revealed that "virtually every" … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

“You need to free yourself from the influence of Satan”, said the schoolteacher.

The Bridge Schools Inspectorate (BSI), which allowed some private Christian and Muslim schools to choose their own inspectors, has ceased to be. It is an ex-inspectorate. The writing was on the wall after Ofsted's chief inspector totally slated it at the end of last year, although I'd written about it before.Reporting on the demise of the Britain's most obviously indefensible inspectorate, the Telegraph includes some quotes that undercover reporters had recorded teachers saying in schools … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Compulsory worship in schools is indoctrination, and it has to stop.

Today the BBC reports that former Education Secretary Charles Clarke is calling for an end to compulsory worship in schools. The first reason given in the BBC's article is that the current requirement is, in practice, not enforced, but that doesn't actually tell us whether or not compulsory worship is a good thing.I don't think any regular readers of this blog will find it controversial for me to say that compulsory worship in schools is a bad thing, but I haven't seen anyone else advance … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!