All schools require a professional approach to any sort of voluntary work that is undertaken in the classroom. Authorisation and Accreditation of SRE teachers is to ensure that children are being delivered relevant and educational content in a safe and age-appropriate way.
Responsibility for providing sufficient and appropriate SRE teachers rests with each individual religious provider.
Every person who seeks to be a teacher of Special Religious Education, and anyone who accompanies them onto NSW Government School premises, must be ‘authorised’ to do so.
Authorisation refers to the permission given to a suitable person by a senior minister, or leader of a church or religious persuasion, to teach SRE on their behalf in the school.
To be authorised to teach SRE, the senior minister or leader is required to ensure that SRE teachers have:
SRE teachers, as a condition of authorisation, are obliged to teach from the curriculum authorised by their religious provider.
Click here to find out more information about the Authorisation of Anglican SRE teachers in Sydney.
Special Religious Education is to be treated as “a genuinely educational activity which is adequately staffed and competently taught” (Religion in Education in NSW Government Schools, 1980).
Each religious provider is responsible for ensuring its representatives are competent teachers.
All SRE teachers authorised by the Anglican church in Sydney are required to complete their Accreditation training prior to commencing SRE teaching.
The Accreditation course is designed to equip Anglican SRE teachers with knowledge and skills in theology and good teaching practice to effectively teach SRE in government schools. In order to attain Accreditation, each SRE teacher is expected to complete 5 training modules in SRE Theory and Practice and Bible Foundations and be observed teaching 1 lesson by a qualified observer.
To maintain accreditation, teachers are also required to attend each year a recognised SRE Development Training Event and be observed teaching one lesson.
Click here for more information about Accreditation training.
The role of the Church SRE Coordinator is vital for the smooth running and successful operation of a Special Religious Education program at a local NSW Government School. The SRE Coordinator is appointed by the Senior Minister of a parish to oversee the operation of SRE on his behalf.
The role and function of the Church SRE Coordinator involves liaising with the school and acting as the point of communication between the school and SRE teachers. Learn more about SRE Coordinators here.
A helper is anyone who assists an SRE teacher in delivering a lesson or a seminar. A helper does not have authority to teach a lesson/seminar alone but may participate under the supervision of the SRE teacher in various aspects of the lesson/seminar (i.e. leading small groups, performing a musical item, providing technical or practical support).
Helpers are required to complete an SRE Teacher's Engagement Form, the Working With Children Check, child protection training and carry a blue authorisation card when on school property. Helpers are not required to complete Accreditation Training.
I have really appreciated having Scripture in our schools. I work in a hospital emergency department; this week one of my colleagues said to me that he was keen for his child to go to school and receive a religious education. My colleague is a Buddhist but was keen for his child to learn about Jesus so that she could decide for herself whether to be a Buddhist or a Christian or neither. I draw your attention to the fact that it is not just Christians who are keen for Scripture in schools to continue.Mirrilee