When we first started our primary school journey we too were handed a fistful of mysterious forms among which was the form for Special Religious Instruction. At the time you needed to sign the form to opt out. Initially I wasn’t appose to the notion of our children receiving religious instruction as I naively misinterpreted the potential content of such instruction. We live in a multicultural, multi-faith, multifaceted country and as such I was more than happy for my children to learn about religion in the broader context. But before settling on this path I did ask what exactly SRI was going to be ‘teaching’ my children. The answer sent me scurrying to fill in the form to opt out. Jacqui Tomlins does a great job in explaining why in the article below…
A couple of weeks ago my kids came home from school (a local state primary) with a letter asking whether I would like them to undertake Special Religious Instruction (SRI). No, I wouldn’t, I told the school – three times in heavily circled biro. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked this question and every time it really, really annoys me.
So this year I thought I would undertake a little research of my own about SRI; about what goes on in other schools and about how other parents have dealt with this issue. To start with I looked at the legislation that governs this area, the Education and Training Reform Act (2006); section 2.2.10 Education in Government schools to be secular states that:
(1) Except as provided in section 2.2.11, education in Government schools must be secular and not promote any particular religious practice, denomination or sect.
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