Public vs Private #2 | Scripture

ClassroomNSW is one of the few places in the world (I do not know of any others) that allows scripture to be taught in public schools.

This is an incredible opportunity.

(If you have not read the first post in this series, please read it here now, it is a basis for all thought)

Scripture (or SRE, Special Religious Education) is mandated to be part of NSW government schools.

“In every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion, but the total number of hours so allowed in a year is not to exceed, for each child, the number of school weeks in the year.”

Education Act 1990 No 8, Part 6 – 32 Special religious education

So SRE has a definite space in public schools,. SRE in NSW is also mandated to be based on an opt-out system, rather than an opt-in system (Education Act 1990 No 8, Part 6 – 33 Objection to religious education).

Scripture is the norm, and the public support it as well! 65% of the broad population in NSW support SRE (From here).

So scripture is in schools, and it is important, but what does that mean for teachers?

Teachers can have an impact on the number of hours of scripture that is taught, and also on when it is taught. This can be done through a few main avenues.

  • Teachers can be a voice in the school that supports SRE, this is vital as the principal decides when and where scripture is taught.
  • Teachers can also support clergy and other lay teachers through actively encouraging scripture publicly.
  • Teachers can also encourage students to learn during scripture by valuing it themselves, rather than dismissing it as “time off”.

If you are a teacher in a public school, then you can actively support the teaching of scripture at your school. You cannot do this at a private school.

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