'Evolution is not a fact,' says Church of England head teacher

TwitterThe original tweet has been removed from Twitter

A Church of England primary school website has been taken down and its head teacher's account removed from Twitter after she was deluged with angry complaints for tweeting: "Evolution is not a fact."

The website of St Andrew's in Oswaldtwistle, which is in the Blackburn diocese, was removed due to the amount of traffic.

The Twitter account of Tina Wilkinson @wilkinsonhead was also described by Twitter as one that "doesn't exist". However it was still possible to view the angry reactions on Twitter.

Wilkinson, who has seen her school Ofsted rating fall from "good" to "needing improvement" in under two years, tweeted: "Evoution is not a fact. That's why it's called a theory! There's more evidence that the Bible is true."

She had been responding to an article by another head teacher, Tom Sherrington from London, of the National Baccalaureate Trust, who had written about evolution and the "young creationists".

(Wikimedia)Charles Darwin is an English naturalist and geologist best known for his theory of evolution.

He wrote: "For me, it is critical that teachers do not water down the science to accommodate religious perspectives if that means sacrificing the acceptance of evidence. This applies to science and RE teachers. New Earth creationism and more subtle variants of Intelligent Design are a denial of science and I think all teachers need to be conscious of that."

He referred specifically to Muslim pupils, saying: "I could tell that I had stirred up some animosity from some Muslim boys during my assemblies. This was confirmed by other students.

"For some, I am an authority figure directly contradicting the teachings of their families and imams. That's going to be hard to take. There may be teachers who fear that this has every chance of strengthening a sense of alienation or of rejecting certain Western values – two elements often associated with radicalisation."

Wilkinson's biblical rebuttal to Sherrington's promotion of his "evolution assembly" itself prompted many angry retorts on the social media platform. 

James Taylor tweeted:

Stephen Knight tweeted:

Christopher Anton tweeted:

Local councillor Ken Moss, who holds an education brief, told the Accrington Observer: "Whilst there are many unanswered questions regarding human evolution, I don't think we should be promoting religious texts as more factually accurate than hundreds of years of detailed scientific study."

Graham Jones, Labour MP for Hyndburn, said: "It is a Church of England school and as such I understand the teachings of the Bible are important. The national curriculum requires more broad-based perception of evolution and a balance of opinions has to be struck so pupils can make up their own minds."

A Blackburn diocesan education spokesman said: "In relation to what should be taught, as a diocese we state all schools should teach the full national curriculum which includes adaptation of plants and animals and that adaption may lead to evolution."

Wilkinson said: "I'd like to make it clear that we teach the full national curriculum in school and that our pupils receive a fully rounded education.

"The comment in question was made using my personal twitter account and represents my own views."

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