Review of SRE and SEE in government schools

Review of Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics in NSW government school

During 2015 the NSW Department of Education engaged ARTD Consultants to undertake a review of the implementation of Special Religious Education (SRE) and Special Education in Ethics (SEE) in NSW public schools.

The review is now complete and the findings and recommendations are being considered by the Department.

Why was the review conducted?

In 2012 the NSW Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No 2, chaired by the Hon Marie Ficarra MLC released a report on the Education Amendment (Ethics Classes Repeal) Bill 2011. The report made a number of recommendations aimed at improving the implementation and delivery of SRE and SEE.

Recommendation 14 of the report requires that ‘a future independent review of both ethics classes and SRE be conducted by appropriately qualified early childhood educational reviewers in 2014-2015'.

The review was not conducted to determine whether SRE or SEE should be offered in NSW public schools.

What were the terms of reference for the review?

The Terms of Reference for the review were consistent with recommendation 14 of the report. The review examined and provided advice on:

  • the nature and extent of SRE and SEE

  • the Department's Implementation Procedures for SRE and SEE including: 

  • parent/carer choice through the enrolment process and opting out

  • approval of SRE and SEE providers by the Department

  • 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 associations and committees

  • new modes and patterns of delivery using technology

  • pedagogy, relevance and age appropriateness of teaching and learning in SRE across all years K to 10, and teaching and learning in SEE in years K to 6 in a variety of demographics

  • the need for annual confirmation by parents and carers on SRE choice or opting out, as appropriate.

  • review of activities and level of supervision for students who do not attend SRE or SEE.

Key features of the review

  • All approved providers of SRE and SEE were invited to participate in the review.

  • All school principals were provided with the opportunity to participate in the review.

  • Individual students were not involved in the review.

For further information please contact the Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics Officer on 9244 5484 or email or



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