Advice for schools

NSW public schools allow time for special religious education (SRE) and special education in ethics (SEE).

Schools support SRE and SEE by:

  • providing time for SRE and SEE when approved providers are available
  • ensuring no academic instruction or formal school activities occur during time set aside for SRE/SEE
  • providing adequate facilities for the provision of SRE and SEE, including classrooms and timetabled lessons during school hours
  • providing all parents/caregivers with general information about how SRE, SEE and alternative meaningful activities are organised.


At enrolment parents/caregivers are to be advised:

  • how SRE and SEE will be organised and the organisations who will deliver it
  • of arrangements made for students whose parents/caregivers indicate they are not to attend SRE or SEE
  • that they may nominate an alternative religion, if their religious persuasion is not offered, or for other reasons
  • that they may, at any time, notify the school in writing that they wish to withdraw their child from SRE.

Schools must enrol students in the SRE program indicated on their enrolment form (provided it is offered by the school).

When 'no religion' is indicated or where there is no nominated religion or the persuasion is unavailable, the principal must provide information about how SRE, SEE and alternative meaningful activities are organised, as well as an SRE participation letter (DOC 32KB) which outlines the options available, including the option to withdraw.

Parents/caregivers may notify the school in writing should they wish to withdraw their child from SRE. Parents/caregivers are then given specific information about alternatives, including SEE if it is established in the school. If SEE is not established and a parent/caregiver requests it, the principal must provide the name and contact details for Primary Ethics.

Students will continue in the same class as the previous year, unless a parent/caregiver has requested a change.

Further detailed information can be found in the Religious education implementation procedures (PDF 449KB) document.

Support materials are also available to further assist schools.

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