Special Religious Education (SRE) is provided in most public schools in NSW for the children of families who choose to have them receive instruction in the faith their family identifies with or that their parents/caregivers want them to find out about.
This right of families has been foundational to public education in NSW since the inception of public education in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Combined churches Christian SRE is provided by local churches working together to place accredited SRE teachers in their local public schools to teach the Bible and the Christian faith.
All students are welcome to attend SRE classes with their parents or caregivers’ permission. Attendance is determined by the faith the family enrolls the student as, or where this is not on their school enrollment form, attendance is normally determined by whether the student attended in the previous year at that school, or the student is opted out by the parent/caregiver writing to the principal.
While Christian SRE in primary schools is almost exclusively provided by volunteers, Generate Ministries helps local combined church communities work together to raise support to employed dedicated secondary SRE teachers. Employing qualified SRE teachers embedded in their school each week helps ensure high quality and consistency in teaching secondary SRE students.
Christian SRE is taught in 75% of high schools and central schools in NSW, with 45% having an employed SRE teacher.