Manchester school defends Christian textbooks


ACE logoA private Christian School in Manchester has defended using American textbooks on their curriculum which state God wants wives to submit to their husbands, children can avoid AIDS by practicing the Bible, and homosexuality is a learned behaviour. 

Three private schools in Manchester are among over 20 UK schools listed as using the Tennessee-based Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum reported The Independent. 

ACE textbooks provided by Christian Education Europe and seen by the Manchester Evening News advocates creationism instead of evolution and teach that abortion is wrong, but school leaders and the supplier claim the books are only supposed to be used as a one part of a wider education. 

Headteacher Brenda Lewis, who established the ACE King of Kings School on Dantzic Street in Ancoats, in 1986, told the newspaper: “The textbooks in isolation only show a very small part of a very large curriculum. It’s a starting point not a finishing point. 

“As Christians we believe the Bible and we believe what the Bible says, and it does say a number of those things, but we are not single-issue people and we teach our students to think for themselves and realise there are a vast number of issues.” 

Dr Greg Hibbins, general manager of Christian Education Europe, said in a statement that “no curriculum – Christian or secular – can cover every single concept in a way that would please everyone. 

“The curriculum is therefore only part of the educational experience of the child and must be informed by the teacher/parent as they choose to interpret and apply the curriculum in a way that reflects their individual learning outcomes, value system and free choice. 

“The users of our curriculum are independent and have the choice to adapt and manage the curriculum content as they so choose.” 

Students at schools using the curriculum do not sit GCSE or A-Level examinations, instead working towards an International Christian Certificate of Education. In their last Ofsted inspections, King of Kings was graded inadequate. 

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “All independent schools — including those run by Christian Education Europe — must ensure that pupils are taught respect for others of different cultures and beliefs.”