The Accelerated Christian Education (Ace) group of fundamentalist schools has gone largely unnoticed by academic researchers and the mainstream media. Recent changes to legislation could mean the education they provide does not meet new standards.
Ace schools are unlike any others. Students work at desks facing the wall, with partitions separating them from their neighbours. They complete a series of workbooks (Paces); interaction with others is forbidden during this time.
Paces integrate religious instruction seamlessly. Scripture memorisation is compulsory. Science emphasises young Earth creationism; history is presented as "His-story". In maths, students calculate the dimensions of Noah's ark. In English, they underline verbs in sentences such as:
God will bless obedience and humility.
I shall obey Thy statutes and judgments.
Humility pleases the Lord Jesus Christ.
After completing these exercises, students proceed to mark their own work from answer keys. This is possible because in Ace, questions have one correct answer.
Last year, the government's Independent School Standards were amended. The standard applied to political questions is now met if "political issues are brought to the attention of pupils [and] they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views".
A school cannot do this and use the Ace curriculum. Biased political statements are not only part of Paces, they are also built into assessments that are integral to the curriculum.