Gove promises no 'wackoidal' free schools

Gove: 'No wackoidal theories'
Gove: 'No wackoidal theories'

By Ian Dunt

Michael Gove's free school programme will leave no space for "wackoidal" theories on religion and science, he has pledged.

The education secretary has been criticised in some quarters for the way that free schools operate independently of local authority control, potentially opening them up to abuse by Christian or Islamic benefactors.

Asked how he could guarantee that creationism would not be taught in the institutions, he replied: "I've been crystal clear that we should not have schools set up by extremists."

There would be "no space for teaching of wackoidal theories", he added.

Mr Gove tried to skate over suggestions that Nick Clegg prevented him allowing free schools to make a profit in the state system, with advance reports suggesting the deputy prime minister will claim credit for the rearguard defence at a speech to parents and teachers tomorrow.

"Nick and I are completely in agreement on this. It's not an issue," Mr Gove told the Andrew Marr show.

But pressed on the matter Mr Gove repeated that there was no need for profit-making free schools "at the moment", raising concerns among some activists that the door is open to introducing a profit-making component in the future.


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