MANY of us have laughed at Vicky Pollard’s famous ‘No, but yeah, but no …’ catchphrase on Little Britain.
But it’s no laughing matter when that was fundamentally the response I got from the Department for Education when I asked if the proposed new ‘natural history’ GCSE syllabus is in reality a course about climate change.
The mealy-mouthed answer basically said … well, it is and it isn’t.
It defies belief, and would be funny if it were not so serious in regard to the intended ‘climate cult’ indoctrination of children.
The equivocal response came after I wrote to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi with my concerns. This is an edited version of my letter …
‘I understand you are planning to introduce a GCSE based on “how to conserve the planet” by 2025, with emphasis on “climate change”.
‘As I am sure you would not wish to see schoolchildren being taught pseudoscience, I wish to gain from you the scientific evidence that any such teaching must be based on.
‘I will give advance notice that referring to organisations such as the UK’s Committee on Climate Change or the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will not suffice, as both have already failed to provide the evidence required, so I must assume you have definitive evidence that they will then be interested to hear about.
‘The specific burden of proof relates to the scientific method, or the precautionary principle, whereby anything else is merely a theory that cannot be stipulated as fact.
‘Hence this has implications beyond education, where it should not form the basis of any policy, due to the extent of uncertainty and indeed, scientifically speaking, presents alternative theories that are considerably more sound than the CCC or IPCC.
‘So, the questions that require your answer in order to progress with teaching children truth are: Can you provide the evidence of the completion of the scientific method, then written process of the theory having been tested successfully, as well as independently verified, with all processes stipulated and including all confounders? And, in the event of the precautionary principle, can you provide evidence of the models that drive this principle?
‘As I assume you do not intend to teach children falsehoods, I look forward to your soonest response.’
The DfE response (edited) was that the natural history GCSE was being introduced ‘as part of the Department’s sustainability and climate change strategy’.
It continued: ‘The natural history GCSE will allow students to engage with and study specific organisms, including plants or animals and the contexts in which they live, and their complex interactions and dependencies.
‘It will develop students’ skills of observation, description, recording and analysis, through sustained and structured field study. It will enable pupils to build on learning in other subjects, in particular science and geography, and make links between sustainability and climate change, but this will not be a GCSE about climate change.
‘There is a wide range of content that could potentially be covered in the natural history GCSE. We will work closely with exam boards and Ofqual to decide the more detailed content. We will also work with independent experts and a range of stakeholder organisations via various channels, including consulting publicly on the draft subject content, which forms a key part of the process in developing any new subject content.’
I emailed back: ‘Your response to my original request states the following: “As part of the Department’s sustainability and climate change strategy” and then “make links between sustainability and climate change”, whilst simultaneously claiming “this will not be a GCSE about climate change”.
‘My question therefore is who should be fired for making this ridiculous response? Will you also be teaching Orwellian doublespeak to push children into saying they are not doing exactly what they are doing?
‘When will the list of “stakeholders” be published, as the public will need to know the guaranteed cronyism that will accompany this ideological indoctrination of children?’
I await a further response.