Criteria for approval

The Minister for Education must approve a religious persuasion before its specific beliefs and practices are taught in NSW public schools.

The criteria for approval are based on the requirements under section 32 of the Education Act 1990 and recommendations 36–72 from the Rawlinson report: Religion in education in NSW government schools and Recommendation 4 of the Education Amendment (Ethics Classes Repeal) Bill 2011 .

  • Applicant must be a religious persuasion, demonstrated by a statement of beliefs and/or doctrine and:
    • confirmation that the organisation is not subject to the direction or control of any other organisation or body
    • confirmation that the organisation is not a combined body of religious persuasions.
  • Applicant has identifiable leaders and appropriate organisation and governance demonstrated by:
    • a description of the general organisation and conduct of the persuasion’s religious activities
    • a statement regarding leaders and their responsibilities
    • details of the number of members and adherents
    • details of the places at which the organisation conducts its business and services
    • confirmation that the persuasion is independent and not a member of a wider umbrella organisation
      • if it is under another organisation, details of that organisation and the status of it within it
    • a copy of the constitution or organisational documents.
  • Applicant meets the quality and administrative requirements demonstrated by:
    • a description of how the persuasion will implement the requirements of the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012
    • a clearly stated educational program which is authorised by the organisation for delivery in NSW public schools.

Maintaining approval

To keep authorisation current an approved provider must provide the following through a written annual assurance to the department.

  • Procedures to ensure compliance with the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012.
  • Evidence that personnel approved to teach special religious education in public schools have obtained a NSW working with children check (WWCC) clearance prior to commencement of duties and copies of the clearances are kept on record.
  • Only authorised materials and pedagogy will be used, taught sensitively and in an age appropriate manner.
  • A copy of the age appropriate curriculum and/or the curriculum outline used in schools is provided to the public on a website.
  • A system of accredited initial and ongoing training for volunteer teachers includes training in classroom management and child protection issues is in place.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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