This policy outlines requirements and responsibilities for matters relating to general religious education and special religious education.
Changes since previous version
2022 Jul 25 – updated section 4.2 of implementation document, Special Religious Education Procedure, to include changes to the Working with Children Check policy. Updated website links.
2021 Jul 15 - maintenance update to both implementation documents - updated links, minor formatting changes.
2021 Jun 22 - maintenance update to policy statement - position titles updated to reflect current department organisation structure.
2020 May 12 – updated contact details.
2020 Apr – updated contact details.
Religious Education Policy PD/2002/0074/V03
Special Religious Education Policy (1995) (PD/2002/0074/V02).
School Manual on Educational Management, Revised 1995 DG 95.4095, Section 15.8, Procedures for SRE.
School Manual on Educational Management, Revised 1995 DG 95.4095, Section 15.7, Religious Education.
School Manual on Educational Management. Revised 1995 DG 95.4095 Section 15.9, Education week religious celebrations in schools (including multi-faith services).
Memorandum to Principals 91/067 (S.048) Education Reform Act (Section 26) Exemption from what is being taught on the basis of conscientious objection on religious grounds.
Memorandum 96/138 (S.132) School prayers
Memorandum 93/3316 Special religious education (SRE)
Memorandum DN10/00321 - Planning for 2011 Classes (Special Religious Education).
- Policy statement
- Schools are to allow for religious education of two distinct types: general religious education and special religious education.
- Schools are to provide meaningful activities for students whose parents have withdrawn them from special religious education. Where it is reasonably practicable and requested by a parent/caregiver, this may include the option of special education in ethics.
- Curriculum for general religious education is provided as part of the New South Wales Education Standards Authority syllabuses. Curriculum for special religious education is developed and implemented by approved providers.
- Audience and applicability
- This policy applies to all schools, department officers and providers of special religious education.
- Education Act 1990, Sections 26, 30, 31, 32 and 33 and 33A.
- Rawlinson Committee Report Religion in Education in NSW Government Schools (1980) recommendations 36-72 that were adopted by the government of the day as an agreement between the churches and the government for the provision of special religious education.
- Inquiry into Education Amendment (Ethics Classes Repeal) Bill 2012 Final Report.
- Responsibilities and delegations
- allowing for general religious education and special religious education in schools.
- Directors, Educational Leadership:
- monitoring of the implementation of general religious education and special religious education in schools
- resolution of implementation issues between the school, its community and providers of special religious education as outlined in this policy and its implementation procedures.
- NSW Department of Education Consultative Committee for Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics:
- provision of advice on the policy and its implementation through the Director, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners
- consideration of new developments and approaches to special religious education.
- Director, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners:
- provision of curriculum support for general religious education
- provision of executive support for the NSW Department of Education Consultative Committee for Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics, and acting as Chairperson
- provision of advice to the department on the policy and its implementation
- provision of administrative support for special religious education, including:
- receiving and processing submissions for the approval of a religious persuasion to teach special religious education
- maintaining of the list of approved providers
- procuring annual assurances from approved providers regarding the screening of special religious education teachers.
- Policy contact person (section 6):
- provision of advice on the interpretation and implementation of the policy
- acting as Executive Officer for the NSW Department of Education Consultative Committee for Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics
- liaison with local department officers on matters relating to religious education.
- Monitoring and review
- The Director, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report as required to the Public Schools Executive Group.
Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics Officer
02 7814 2353