SRE review welcomed

Russell Powell
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Archbishop Glenn Davies has welcomed a report to the State Government on Special Religious Education (SRE) and Special Education in Ethics (SEE).

The report of the 2015 review, released during Easter week, makes 56 recommendations about the implementation of SRE and SEE, complaints procedures, teacher training and curriculum development.

The report, conducted by ARTD consultants, along with the Department’s response to recommendations has been released on the Department of Education’s website.

The Education Department says the policy and legal framework supporting freedom of religion and conscience in NSW public schools since 1848 will be maintained.

"I am pleased that the report confirms Special Religious Education has overwhelming support, is working well and is an integral part of the holistic education offered by New South Wales public schools." Dr Davies said. "The statistics show that Special Religious Education is operating in 92 percent of primary schools and 81 percent of secondary schools, which underlines our commitment to providing the highest quality educational outcomes."

Dr Davies commended the Minister and the Department of Education for the thorough nature of the review and the commitment which ‘recognises the diversity of Australian society and supports parental choice in educating children about their faith’ (see report page xiv).

"We shall work with the Department in its response to the recommendations. A number of areas identified, including the provision of curriculum information, have already been addressed by our own internal reviews of SRE procedures." Dr Davies said.

"The Department of Education’s own Wellbeing Framework recognises the importance of the spiritual wellbeing of children in developing a sense of meaning and purpose as well as connecting growing students to culture, religion and community. This holistic approach to education and community involvement is the hallmark of a strong and diverse society of which Special Religious Education is a vibrant and vital part" the Archbishop said.



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