What is the party’s position on the continuance of Special Religious Education in government schools?
The AJP does not have a policy on the continuance of Special Religious Education in government schools. In the interests of equality and rationality, we support students learning about the religious and ethical systems of the various groups within society. The AJP recognises that religion and spirituality means different things to each person. For this reason, to ensure inclusion, acceptance and non-discriminative learning, the AJP would consider the introduction of a generalised ethics class, where students were exposed to a range of religious belief systems, as well as to further develop their own ethical and moral beliefs. The AJP recognises the importance of children to be critical thinkers and to establish their own thoughts and opinions on what belief system governs them.
The Animal Justice Party acknowledges that additional, and more specific focus on a preferred religion may be of importance to some families and therefore would also acknowledge, under the principal’s discretion, that these subjects be continued as a non-compulsory extra-curricular activity.
We strongly support the SRE program. Christianity is an essential pillar of our civilisation and with Western civilisational values under widespread political attack, scripture classes should continue to be taught in NSW schools.
The party recognises that a significant proportion of Catholic students actually attend public schools in NSW, therefore we support the continuance of Special Religious Education in schools.
Special Religious Education should continue to be provided in government schools. It is essential that students at government schools are provided with the opportunity to learn more about their religion. Special Religious Education also provides students with invaluable psychological and emotional support that is essential to the many students who experience substantial hardship through their school years.
It should be banned, religious indoctrination has no place in government schools.
The Christian Democratic Party is the only party in the NSW Upper House has made it their top priority to protect Scripture (SRE). The Christian Democratic Party agrees with the Wellbeing Framework for Schools and the importance of students being connected to their cultural, religious or spiritual backgrounds. SRE helps facilitate this goal as it allows school-aged children to connect with religious providers from various faith groups; it helps to provide a well-rounded education for our students; and helps to create schools that promote and respect multiculturalism and different faith groups.
The NSW Department of Education procedures states: Parents/caregivers can choose to enrol their child into SRE from the school’s available approved provider(s) or to withdraw their child from SRE. Students withdrawn from SRE engage in alternative meaningful activities or SEE where available.
It is concerning that the NSW Teacher’s Federation seeks to remove a program, which is optional, from NSW schools. Students who do not participate in SRE have the option for Special Education in Ethics (SEE) or other meaningful activities. The NSW Teacher’s Federation alleges students are not offered other meaningful activities – This is not accurate.
We believe the more support we give our youth and young people, the better equipped they are to handle stress and difficult family situations, particularly for those experiencing, or at risk of, poor mental health. I believe those in educational fields are best placed to recognise the early warning signs because of the relationships they have with school-aged children. At a time when suicide and mental health disorders are at their highest, why would we want to reduce children’s access to this vital support system? Particularly when we know that seeking help reduces the rates of suicide and that early intervention works.
That is why we believe so strongly in Scripture (SRE) and will continue to work closely with Christian communities across NSW to fight to ensure Scripture stays in NSW schools. No other political party makes them such a high priority on their election policy agenda.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is supportive of and committed to Special Religious Education (SRE) in NSW public schools. Under the NSW Liberals & Nationals, SRE will continue to be a feature of our public education system.
For over 140 years, Special Religious Education (SRE) has been taught in NSW
Government Schools, with various religious organisations providing the teachers,
training and curriculum required to conduct classes. The NSW Labor Party continues to support the role SRE plays in teaching children in NSW Public Schools about their faith.
NSW Labor also recognises the work being undertaken to implement a range of
strategies to ensure SRE is provided in an appropriate, professional, respectful
and supportive manner.
NSW Labor believes that both SRE and SEE are legitimate options and families
should have a clear and unambiguous choice when enrolling their child at
NSW Public Schools. The current practice is that faith providers teach alongside
each other in the SRE/Special Ethics Education (SEE) timeslot.
Furthermore, NSW Labor acknowledges the role of SRE and SEE in government
schools, informing young people in the faith of their families and for the
development of young peoples’ values and ethics.
Click the arrow below to see the next question >>