The UK is kind of a mess when it comes to church-state separation. Because they don’t have anything like our Establishment Clause to set boundaries on how much the government can be involved with religion, those decisions are essentially political ones. So while the British public is far less overtly religious than people in the US, their government funds religious schools even when they teach in quite a sectarian way. Meanwhile their current prime minister David Cameron and before him the odious and unctuous Tony Blair both make public statements of their religion, with the former saying that England is a Christian country.
So I was surprised to see that they had banned the teaching of creationism as if it is a scientifically valid theory.
A statement by the British Humanist Association that has been pushing for this change describes the history behind this change.
The Government has changed the rules to preclude all Academies and Free Schools, both those that already exist and those that will open in the future, from teaching pseudoscientific ideas such as creationism as scientifically valid.
In 2012 the Government precluded all future Free Schools (i.e. those not already open) from teaching pseudoscience as science and required them to teach evolution, as well as requiring them to promote British values. However it decided not to extend these requirements to Academies, and these changes did not apply to Free Schools that already existed.
But in March the Government extended all of these rules to future stand-alone Academies (i.e. those not part of a multi-Academy trust that do not already exist), as well as introducing new rules to stop religious discrimination in Free Schools from extending beyond the areas of admissions, employment, RE and assemblies (i.e. into areas such as other parts of the curriculum, uniform or food policies).
Now the Government has also extended these rules to future Academies that are part of multi-Academy trusts, meaning all future Academies are covered by them. But in addition it has also introduced new clauses for Church Academies helpfully clarifying the meaning of creationism and the fact that it is a minority view within the Church of England and Catholic Church, but also stating that 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.’