THE headteacher of a Wearside Christian school has rubbished claims that it teaches creationism.
Chris Gray, principal of Grindon Hall Christian School, slammed a report that claimed the Pennywell school was run by a group with creationist views.
The report, which appeared in a national newspaper, also claimed there was a document on the school’s website stating they taught creationism as a scientific theory.
However, Mr Gray said the document was removed years ago and was originally written to distance the school from those views.
He said: “The article that appeared was very mischievous and since then it has felt a bit like a witch hunt.
“The fact is in 28 years we have never taught creationism, we won’t teach it now and we will not teach it in the future.
“It’s not a policy of ours.
“When we applied to the Government to become a free school they made sure of that and what The Guardian has done is find a very old document that we took off the website in 2005.
“And it was first written to distance ourselves from the issue of creationism. “I don’t believe in creationism, none of my staff believe in it and so I’m hoping this will blow over.
“We are one of the best schools in the North East and as well as Christian pupils we have Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus, so it’s a total red herring.”
Mr Gray also extended an offer for people to visit the school to see for themselves what is taught in science classes.
He said: “I have also offered for anyone to come to the school unannounced and I will happily take them into a science lesson to see for themselves.”
The school is hoping to open as a free school in September as part of a move announced by the Coalition Government.
l Creationism is the religious belief that humanity and the universe were created by a supernatural being, most commonly the Christian God.
There is difference within the belief though, as to how this happened and how old the earth is.
Some creationists believe the book of Genesis from the Bible should be read literally, and that the earth was created in seven days.
There is also an ongoing creation evolution controversy, as many fundamental Christians deny that Charles Darwin’s theory is true.