Creationism being taught in Welsh schools

18 June, 2024

Evidence of creationism and the promotion of evangelical Christianity in a school of no religious character in Wales has led to demands for the Welsh Government to ban the teaching of creationism as science once and for all. Wales Humanists has written to Welsh Education Minister, Lynne Neagle, asking her to clarify that the requirement for a ‘balanced education’ means creationism must not be taught as scientifically valid. 

In Wales, Religion, Values and Ethics (RVE) taught in a school of no-religious character must be taught from a ‘non-confessional’ – that is balanced with no preference towards any faith or belief – perspective. Despite this, concerns have been raised about inappropriate teaching and guidance materials being used at Llanidoes High School including science posters and resources and ‘advice pages’ in school planners featuring quotes from the bible. The school also prominently advertises Christian clubs and the evangelical Christian ‘Alpha Course’ which aims to convert young people to Christianity. Estyn, the Welsh education regulator, is empowered to inspect community schools such as Llanidoes High School on these matters, and Wales Humanists will be writing to it asking for that to happen with a matter of urgency.

Unlike in England, the Welsh Government has not said that schools cannot teach creationism as science. In 2019 Wales Humanists organised an open letter, which was signed by leading scientists such as Sir David Attenborough and Professor Jim Al-Khalili as well as representatives from the British Science Association and Association for Science Education, which called on the Welsh Government to make sure all schools ‘teach evolution, not creationism’. This can be done without legislation as the UK Government has done it by interpreting the requirement that the curriculum be ‘balanced’ as meaning that creationism cannot be taught. This same legislation exists in Wales. Disappointingly, this was ignored by the then Education Minister Kirsty Williams who cited a ‘lack of evidence’ of creationism being taught in schools. 

Wales Humanists Coordinator Kathy Riddick said:

‘We are very concerned about reports of creationism and evangelical Christianity being promoted in Llanidoes High School, a school of no religious designation. Over 700 children have been subjected to inappropriate teaching. As there is no method of discovery, or Government guidance to prevent such inappropriate proselytisation in schools in Wales, there could also be other schools acting similarly which have not yet been identified.

‘In the past the Welsh Government has used a so-called lack of evidence to avoid banning the teaching of creationism as scientifically valid. Now the evidence is plain to see, and so we call again on ministers to act and ban the teaching of creationism as science in schools.’

Wales Humanists, a long standing campaigner for inclusive education in Wales worked with the Welsh Government to reform the way religious education (RE) was taught, and welcomed the 2022 Curriculum and Assessments (Wales) Act which resulted in humanism being taught on an equal footing to religion as part of the ‘Religion, Values and Ethics’ subject.


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 0203 675 0959.

Read more about our work on science and education.

Read the Wales Online story.

Read about our campaign to ban creationism being taught as science in Welsh schools.

Read our Welsh Guide for Non-Religious Parents.

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