York & North Yorkshire

Malton School church bid sparks concern

Concern has been raised over plans to restore a North Yorkshire specialist science school's links to the church.

A consultation is under way over plans by Malton School to apply for academy status and also create a formal link with the Church of England.

Parent Phillipa Hare said the proposal was at odds with the school's science specialism.

Headteacher Rob Williams said it would strengthen the school's ethos and further raise standards.

Converting to academy status would mean the school would be directly funded by central government and independent of local authority control.

A letter sent to parents said it was proposed the school re-establishes its historical connection with the Church of England.

Malton was a church school from 1547 until 1911.

In the letter, Mr Williams said: "In discussion with senior education officers from the Church we feel that our existing aims and ethos match up closely and that a formal link will add value to our work".

Ms Hare said a formal link to the Church of England would mean the school had the freedom to teach only one religion if it so wished.

She added: "It has the freedom to teach sex education in relationship education from a purely religious vantage and it has the freedom to teach unscientific perspective such as creationism which I think it's unthinkable in a science school."

Mr Williams said all religions would continue to be taught to pupils.

"We want to equip them to make their own minds up as they move into adulthood but I believe it is possible to do that while exposing them to the practices of the Church of England which I believe is very much tied up to the practices of our society."

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