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Review of SRE in 2014

4 February 2014 No Comment

logo_christian SREThe Department of Education and Communities  (DEC) have informed their SRE Consultative Group that they are commissioning a review of Special Religious Education (SRE) and Special Education in Ethics (SEE) in 2014, in line with a recommendation from a Parliamentary Enquiry in 2012. This is an opportunity to survey SRE in recent years in terms of procedures and teaching, and also gather new data that can help inform future practice.  It is the responsibility of everyone involved in SRE to ensure that we are all doing what we are required to do (and more!) to allow SRE to shine in this spotlight.

The recommendation from 2012 is as follows:

That the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) commission an independent review of both Special Religious Education (SRE) and Special Education in Ethics (SEE) in NSW government schools to be conducted by appropriately qualified early childhood educational reviewers in 2014-2015, that includes the following:
*Survey of the nature and extent of SRE and SEE;
*DEC Implementation Procedures for SRE and SEE including: parent/carer choice through the enrolment process and opting out; approval of SRE and SEE providers by DEC; authorisation of volunteer teachers and curriculum by providers;
*Development of complaints procedures and protocols;
*SRE and SEE providers training structures;
*Registration of SRE and SEE Boards, Associations and Committees;
*New modes of patterns of delivery using technology;
*Pedagogy, relevance and age appropriateness of teaching and learning across all primary grades in a variety of demographics;
*Need for annual confirmation by parents/carers on SRE choice or opting out;
*Review of activities and level of supervision for students who do not attend SRE or SEE.

At the Department of Education and Communities Consultative Committee (DECCC) meeting, November 2013, we were informed that the review is to take place in 2014 and be completed by November 2014. Bryan Cowling (Sydney Anglican), James Athanasou (Greek Orthodox) and Cheryl Clendinning (Baptist Union) were nominated by the DECCC to be the Project Reference Group to oversee the process once the reviewer is contracted. The DEC is putting this project out to tender.

Each year all Approved Providers of SRE (for Uniting, the Synod of NSW and ACT) sign an Annual Assurance Letter acknowledging that all SRE teachers authorised will meet the DEC’s requirements. This year this means that all teachers have done (or will do this year) initial/Basic SRE training and also commit to ongoing training. ICCOREIS has an agreed framework for Initial (Basic) SRE training, and times and venues for those training days can be found here on the training page. Ongoing training includes training days and workshops that focus on skill development and information that SRE teachers require.

It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that we are all doing the best that we can.
If you have any questions please contact Emma Parr (02 8838 8977; emmap@nsw.uca.org.au)


Thanks to Cheryl Clendinning for her explanation of the review.

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