This morning I explained to a student that the language is called English wherever in the world it is spoken and that its varieties are called British English, American English and so on.
This afternoon I have chanced upon this from the BBC:
The government has told school test officials to scrap their advice to pupils about using non-English spellings such as "fetus" and "sulfate" in national curriculum science tests..."School pupils should use English spelling," [School Standards Minister, Estelle Morris] said.
The Royal Society of Chemistry said international agreement was "essential" for science.
But the Plain English Campaign disagreed:
A spokesman said: "For English schools, it does seem to be going too far - it's more appropriate for university students."
Well, I would have thought that it was plainer to have one common standard for schools and universities rather than two different ones. Or are we to assume that this is not going too far for Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish schools?
The BBC article is from November 2000 and is related to the acceptance of sulfur by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which I have discussed here.