Academy claim pay-out

THE businessman behind Thorne's Trinity Academy has won damages over allegations his schools taught creationism as an authentic scientific theory.

The Tribune has published an apology and paid out-of-court damages after Sir Peter Vardy, who set up the Vardy Foundation which sponsored Trinity, took the matter the High Court. The court heard Tribune Publications published an article in October 2009 under the heading Creationist claptrap that beggars belief.

It claimed: "The Vardy Foundation, led by Christian evangelical Peter Vardy, which... controls three state schools with the fourth on the way" was imposing "'pseudoscience" on children whose education is paid for by taxpayers' money".

It claimed children were being taught in biology lessons that evolution was as much a theory as creationism.

But lawyers told the court schools sponsored by the Vardy Foundation taught an entirely orthodox syllabus, including its science teaching. Sir Peter Vardy had specifically requested Ofsted inspectors looked for creationism anywhere within the curriculum of the schools sponsored by the Vardy Foundation, and on each occasion inspectors found no evidence at all of creationist teaching.The damages have been paid to charity.

Sir Peter said: "I have been saddled with this unwarranted and wholly untrue 'creationist' label for many years. I felt forced to take this action in the High Court of Justice to set the record straight and finally lay the matter to rest.

"I have never made a secret of the fact that I am a Christian and that the schools I founded have a Christian ethos.

"But I have never attempted to impose my beliefs on anyone and to suggest that I used the schools as some kind of indoctrination centre undermines their exceptional standards and is insulting to staff, students and their parents alike."

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