The criticism followed last week's publication of subject content proposals for Biology by the Department for Education. Under the new proposals students would be required to describe how evolution occurs; evaluate the evidence for evolution to include fossils; describe the work of Darwin and Wallace in the development of evolution theory; and explain the impact of evolution on modern biology.

Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, Michael Cohen, an adviser to Orthodox schools, said: "I don't see Charedi [ultra-Orthodox] schools going along with it. It is something that flies in face of their ethos and culture. It is clear this kind of proposal is definitely going to create difficulties for Charedi schools."

According to the Jewish Chronicle, modern Orthodox schools feel able to reconcile evolution with Jewish teachings on creation but Charedi schools regard it as opposed to traditional doctrine. There is currently just one Charedi Jewish school in the state sector.