A church of England primary school headteacher has come under fire after appearing to post on Twitter that ‘evolution is not a fact’.
A row erupted after a comment was posted on the social media site, attributed to Christina Wilkinson, headteacher of St Andrew’s CE Primary in Oswaldtwistle.
The tweet from the @WilkinsonHead account stated: “Evolution is not a fact. That’s why it’s called a theory! There’s more evidence that the Bible is true.”
It was in response to another headteacher about an article he had written on the subject of an assembly about evolution.
In a letter to the headteacher and the Observer, Phillip Stanton raised concerns about Mrs Wilkinson’s comments.
He said: “Given that your Twitter address is @WilkinsonHead I do not consider it unreasonable to assume that this statement represents your viewpoints as the head of St Andrew’s Primary School. I would therefore be most grateful if you provide references for your statements that ‘evolution is not a fact’ and ‘there’s more evidence that the Bible is true’.
“If you are unable to do so please confirm that these unsubstantiated opinions in no way affect the ways in which science and religion are taught in St Andrew’s Primary School.”
Coun Ken Moss, Hyndburn council’s cabinet member for education, said: “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.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones 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.”
The tweet was in response to a post by Tom Sherrington, a Trustee of the National Baccalaureate Trust who writes a blog on education issues.
Mrs Wilkinson said: "I would like to make it clear that we teach the full national curriculum at St Andrew's Primary 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."
The school and local education authority declined to comment.
A Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education spokesperson 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.”