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Six days that shaped the world

The man overseeing the running of three state secondary schools has said he believes that the world was created in six days.

Nigel McQuoid is director of schools for the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, which controls and sponsors two academies and a city technology college and has long been the subject of controversy for teaching creationism alongside evolution.

Asked whether he believed that the earth was created in six days, Mr McQuoid said: "I believe that that is what the Bible says, yes I'll accept that."

He said he regarded the Bible as a literal truth rather than a metaphor and said: "I actually believe in some things which science says can't happen."

His comments were made on a Channel 4 television programme on evangelism aired this week which looked at the work of the foundation, sponsored by car dealer Sir Peter Vardy, a Christian fundamentalist.

It also included interviews with former pupils at its first school, Emmanuel college, Gateshead. They said that although they were taught the theory of evolution, teachers made no attempt to hide their bias towards creationism.

One, Richard Almond, said: "They would say 'this is Darwinist theory, however we believe that God created the world in seven days'.

"They always pushed evolution on to you as just a theory so we never thought of it as proper scientific thing. They taught us that the earth was only 7,000 years old."

The programme also quoted an anonymous teacher at the foundation's Trinity academy, Middlesbrough, saying that staff were critical of feminism and portrayed homosexuality as a sin.

These claims were denied by the foundation. A spokeswoman said its schools were oversubscribed by parents happy to see their children taught the Christian message within a context that allowed them to make up their own minds.

In 2004 The TES revealed that Emmanuel college had published a document which said that Christianity and biblical truth must play a vital part in the curriculum.

History lessons should consider if England escaped invasion by Hitler because of an act of God.

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