The new rules have been brought into effect amidst concerns that some free schools were favouring creationism and not teaching evolution by natural selection as first presented by Charles Darwin (played by Paul Bettany in the movie Creation, above).

Free schools found not to be following these rules will face losing their funding as a result.

“The Royal Society identified a potential issue that schools could have avoided teaching evolution by natural selection in science lessons or dealt with it in such a perfunctory way, that the main experience for students was the creationist myth,” the Royal Society’s Sir Paul Nurse told the BBC.

The move is likely to find little favour with those free schools favouring the theory of creationism and which teach it as part of the science curriculum.

The new rules specify the difference between science and beliefs and the manner in which both should be taught.

Photo: Getty.