Emmanuel College, Gateshead

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Emmanuel College
Motto God with us
Established 1990
Type City Technology College
Religion Christian
Principal Mr Matthew Waterfield MA[1][2]
Location Consett Road, Lobley Hill
Tyne and Wear
NE11 0AN
Coordinates: 54°56′17″N 1°38′31″W / 54.938°N 1.642°W / 54.938; -1.642
Local authority Gateshead
DfE number 390/6900
DfE URN 108420 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,248[2]
Gender Co-educational[2]
Ages 11–18[2]
Houses Galatians, Romans and Corinthians
Former pupils Old Emmanuels
Website www.emmanuelcollege.org.uk

Emmanuel College is a secondary school based in Gateshead, England. It was founded in 1990 as a City Technology College, i.e. a secondary school which is partly funded by donations from business donors who remain involved in management of the college. The college remains a City Technology College to the present day. Emmanuel now instructs up to 1,250 students aged between 11 and 19, and has over 120 staff working on the purpose-built site. It is part of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation and in each of its four Ofsted inspections it has achieved a status of "Outstanding School".[3]

Students come from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds but predominantly from the inner-city areas within Gateshead and Central and West Newcastle upon Tyne.[4]

Intake policy[edit]

The college was described by The Guardian in 2002 as achieving "consistently outstanding academic results", having received a "glowing" Ofsted report.[5]

By law, the school must admit pupils of mixed ability, according to a normal distribution representative of the whole population. In common with other City Technology Colleges, Emmanuel College uses non-verbal reasoning tests set and marked by the National Foundation for Educational Research, a leading independent research organisation, to assess general intelligence, as opposed to prowess in literacy or mathematics. After marking, the NFER places test results into nine separate categories, and informs the school how many are to be taken from each category.[4]

Another condition is that two thirds of places are given to students considered to be from the most socio-economically deprived wards within its catchment area, with the other third coming from other areas of the catchment area, ensuring a mix not only academically but socially too.[4]

In terms of Sixth Form admission, a reduced number of places available (130) are offered, with preference to the school's own Year 11 students.[4]

Creationism controversy[edit]

The school was at the centre of a storm of protests from scientists and educationalists when it was revealed that some members of the management team, including both the principal and the head of science,[6] were sympathetic to Young Earth creationism and had allowed its hall to be rented by Answers in Genesis, an organisation which promotes such views. The school includes evolutionary science in its curriculum, but presents evolution as a theory complemented by the theory of creationism (taught in RE lessons). This led to allegations by Richard Dawkins, John Polkinghorne, and others in 2002 that the school taught creationism in science lessons.[5][6][7] In 2002, the Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Tonge asked Prime Minister Tony Blair if he was "happy to allow the teaching of creationism alongside Darwin's theory of evolution in state schools". The Prime Minister replied that he supported a "diverse school system", and praised the teachers at Emmanuel College for their commitments to "deliver[ing] better results for our children".[8]

However, after re-inspecting the material used to teach science at Emmanuel College, Ofsted decided that the matter did not need to be pursued further.[9] The next Ofsted inspection in 2006 described the school as 'Outstanding' and found no problem with its science provision.[10]

Some allegations centred on the school's former Head of Science Steven Layfield who had in 2000, prior to his taking up the post, publicly advocated the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools.[11] Layfield was at some point a director of creationist body Truth in Science, but resigned from its board in 2006 to underscore the separation between his private views and the school's teaching of science.[12]

Notable Alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Waterfield, Matthew. "Principal's welcome". Emmanuel College. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "URN 108420 Emmanuel College". EduBase. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Emmanuel College, Office for Standards in Education.
  4. ^ a b c d Emmanuel College Intake Policy
  5. ^ a b Tania Branigan (2002-03-09). "Top school's creationists preach value of biblical story over evolution". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  6. ^ a b Numbers, Ronald (November 30, 2006). The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition. Harvard University Press. pp. 407–408. ISBN 0-674-02339-0. 
  7. ^ "School attacked over evolution teaching". BBC News. 2002-03-14. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  8. ^ Francis Wheen (6 July 2005). How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions. PublicAffairs. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-7867-2352-2. 
  9. ^ "The Academies Programme". NAO. 2007-02-23. p. 35. Retrieved 2010-10-20. 
  10. ^ "Emmanuel College inspection report". Ofsted. 2006-03-28. Retrieved 2010-10-20. [permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "The Teaching of Science A Biblical Perspective". Christian Institute (content mirrored). 2006-07-29. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  12. ^ "Science teacher quits faith pressure group". The Journal. 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  13. ^ Nichol, Sara (20 January 2009). "Michelle Heaton's dad reveals pride at star". Chronicle Live. Gateshead. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 

External links[edit]