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<b>LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY</b> - Closed ePetition Details

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY - Closed ePetition Details

Run optional Scripture and Ethics Lessons outside class time in NSW Public Schools

Petitioner: Mr Steven Cowgill | Member: Mehan, David | No. of Signatories: 1,480 | Date closed: 12/04/2024
To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, Sections 32 and 33 of the NSW Education Act (1990) (‘the Act’) require public schools to allow time for optional faith-based Special Religious Education (SRE) and its secular alternative Special Education in Ethics (SEE) by students who have parental consent. The external providers of SRE and SEE set lesson content. In a year, the total hours of SRE and SEE may not exceed the number of school weeks. In other words, NSW law reserves up to one hour per week of class time in public schools during which students may do two activities unrelated to the NSW Curriculum. To follow the Act, it is Department of Education policy that normal classes for all students must stop during SRE and SEE. But in many schools most students don't do either option. Instead these students wait it out because the Act and the Department prevent them being taught anything. Parents can readily exercise their right to educate their children in a chosen religion or ethical system outside school. There is no need to stop public education for all students while some pursue a private interest in religion, ethics, or indeed any subject. We ask the Legislative Assembly to call on the Government to amend the Act so that optional SRE and SEE in public schools runs only during participating students' own time, e.g. during breaks, or before or after school. This will increase class time for teaching the NSW Curriculum to all students.