On April 11, the Department of Education released the findings of the 2015 Independent Review into SRE and Ethics in NSW public schools.
We praise God that even with the resistance to SRE, the NSW Government has confirmed in this Review that the framework that supports freedom of religion and conscience being taught in public schools will be maintained.
With very few states in Australia retaining this privilege, the ChristianSRE team are working hard to provide children in NSW with the opportunity to question, explore and discover the faith of their family.
We want them to make an individual choice, with a trained SRE teacher to help them work through an approved curriculum regarding their faith.
SRE providers are working collaboratively with the Department of Education, Government representatives and providers to respond to the Review's recommendations that:
- We continue to improve the delivery and transparency of curriculum.
- We ensure our paid and volunteer teachers are trained in best practice teaching standards for age-appropriate learning.
- We ensure clear communication and information is available for principals, school staff and parents about what is required and being taught.'
SRE Review: Key Findings
- 84% of parents are satisfied/mostly satisfied with students’ learning experiences in SRE.
- 92% of parents agree/mostly agree that they have been able to exercise their right to withdraw their child from SRE.
- 73% primary principals and 74% parents support the process of SRE enrolment choice continuing from the previous year.
Benefits of providing SRE
- SRE contributes to students’ understanding of their cultural heritage and is an avenue for their spiritual care.
- SRE builds tolerance in schools around diverse communities and promotes multiculturalism and the recognition of different cultural heritages.
- SRE contributes to a well-rounded education and provides students with a values perspective to make informed ethical choices.
- SRE is community building and helps connect schools with the local community.
Suggested improvements to SREThe providers have welcomed findings that will improve SRE. These include:
- All SRE providers to place in the public domain their curriculum scope and sequence and that this be in sufficient detail for parents/caregivers and schools to be able to understand what is covered in SRE lessons.
- Providers make publicly available their complaints policy and procedures.
- Providers and SRE curriculum developers review their curriculums on a cyclical basis (e.g. five-yearly basis).
- Providers consider offering the same basic training for all SRE teachers and more regular ongoing training and greater support including mentoring and observation of individual SRE teachers’ practices.
- Providers consider making available training in use of interactive whiteboards and digital projectors for SRE teachers.
Further Reading on the SRE Review
- 2015 Review of SRE and SEE in NSW Schools
- Eternity News “Big tick for Scripture classes in schools” 12th April 2017
What we are doing next:
Christian SRE Social Media Campaign
Following the release of the Independent Review findings, ChristianSRE is running a Facebook campaign to build a large community of Christian supporters. We want them to be informed and equipped to continue to speak amongst their networks about the value of ‘individual choice’ when it comes to SRE in NSW schools.
If you are on Facebook please “like” and “share” our page