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Religious Education

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Special religious education


Special religious education (SRE)

The Act provides for Special Religious Education (SRE) to be taught in public schools; although not as part of the general curriculum.    

The focus of SRE is on the distinctive religious tenets or beliefs of a particular religion and is provided by volunteers who have been authorised to deliver a particular SRE program.

The decision about whether, or which SRE program will be provided at the school is made by the principal, in consultation with the school council or board.  The methods of consultation are a school-based decision.  Similarly, decisions regarding communications to parents are a school-based matter.

Currently, the following SRE programs are provided in WA public schools:

  1. Christian religious education (CRE) as provided by YouthCARE WA (an organisaton with a membership base of 13 different denominations. Twenty church groups or denominations are engaged in the delivery of the CRE program, as well as the delivery of the Treasure Hunter Kids Club lunch time/after school program;
  2. Baha’i, as provided by the WA Baha’i Centre of Learning, Perth; and
  3. a small number of specifically Catholic SRE programs, as provided by Catholic denominational volunteers (in addition to those Catholic volunteers who also deliver the CRE program).

Parents have the right to request the withdrawal of their child from an SRE program. It is therefore reasonable to ask that the school provides timely information to parents, so that they can make an informed decision about their child's participation.  

In all cases, the assumption is that students will participate in the school’s SRE program unless parents give written notice of their desire to withdraw their children.

Schools make alternative educational arrangements for those students who do not participate in an SRE program.

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