SRE (Special Religious Education) in NSW Government schools

The NSW Government, through legislation and related policy, recognises the diversity of Australian society and supports parental choice in educating children about their faith. The delivery of Special Religious Education (SRE) is managed by religious persuasions, which are approved as SRE providers by the Department of Education.

SRE is mandated by the Education Act (1990) and gives parents the choice to have children formed in the faith of their family. Section 32 of the Education Act says that ‘In every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion.’

The provision of SRE is not funded by government. The Departments Special Religious Education Procedures are available online for the school community and other interested members of the public. The procedures provide guidelines for the delivery of SRE in government schools.

SRE providers are approved to access schools, determine teachers and the curriculum.

Legislative Provisions

Education Act 1990, Sections 26, 30, 31, 32 and 33 and 33A

Foursquare Australia is an authorised provider of SRE in NSW government schools. Foursquare Church members will only be able to teach SRE if they have completed the Foursquare SRE teacher authorisation processes of and been approved by the church denomination.

The current information, policies and documents provided on the Foursquare Australia website pertaining to SRE are a requirement of our church denomination’s ongoing approval as an authorised provider of SRE in NSW Government schools.

Approved Curriculum

Foursquare Australia authorises its SRE teachers to use the following curricula in NSW Government schools. For more information, including curriculum scope & sequence, please click on the following links:

» Infants & Primary School: Godspace (Burst Resources) & Connect (CEP)

» Secondary School: Peacewise Youth (Peacewise), Jesus the Gamechanger (Olive Tree Media), and ThinkFaith (CEP)

How do I become an SRE teacher?

REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLYING TO BECOME AN SRE TEACHER

You will need to:

  • Successfully apply for and provide your current WWCC details (WWCC clearance number, name, date of birth & expiry date)
  • Complete an initial Safe Church Awareness (Child Protection) training workshop, and subsequent Safe Church Awareness refresher training every 3 years
  • Familiarise yourself with the content of the Foursquare SRE Teachers Manual, SRE Code of Conduct, Teacher Authorisation Processes, Teacher Review Process, Complaints Policies and Procedures, Social Media Policy & Audio-visual Material in Schools and Interactive Whiteboard and Projector documents.
  • Complete either Modules 1-5 & 7 of Basic SRE Teacher training for Primary or Modules 1-5, & 7 of Basic SRE Teacher training for Secondary. These 2 courses can be found at: https://training.christiansre.com.au/course/index.php?categoryid=1
    Module 6 (Observation lesson) is then to be completed within the first 4 weeks of teaching and evidence (including a completed Observation form) is to be sent to: sremanager@foursquare.org.au

Primary School:

Module 1- Our ministry context
Module 2- The learner and the teacher
Module 3- Delivering a lesson
Module 4- Classroom management
Module 5- Biblical foundations for teaching SRE
Module 7- Duty of care and SRE

Secondary School:
Module 1- Understanding the SRE ministry context
Module 2- The adolescent learner and the SRE teacher
Module 3- Preparing a lesson for high school SRE
Module 4- Classroom management and the high school SRE teacher
Module 5- Biblical Foundations for high school SRE teachers
Module 7- Duty of care and SRE

  • Arrange an Interview with your local church pastor
  • Complete an SRE Engagement form (to be signed off by your local pastor)
    For SRE Engagement Form and full details, click here

Copies of the following are then to be sent to: sremanager@foursquare.org.au

  • Your completed SRE Engagement form
  • Evidence of completed Safe Church training within the last 24 months
  • Evidence of completion of Primary SRE teacher training Modules 1-5, or Secondary SRE teacher training Modules 1-5 & 7.
    Upon approval and processing of your application, the newly authorised teacher will be issued with an SRE authorisation photo ID card & name badge to be kept on their person at all times while on school grounds.

ONGOING Requirements for maintaining your SRE authorisation:

SRE teachers are required to undergo re-authorisation every 3 years

  • Complete SRE Engagement authorisation form
  • Provide evidence of Safe Church Awareness refresher training completed during the previous 3 years
  • Teach an observation lesson supervised by another SRE teacher or the SRE Coordinator (SRE training module 6)
  • Complete 2 SRE training modules (Module 1 –Context and another module of your choice).

Use Of Supplementary Resources:
There are times when SRE teachers may wish to supplement their approved curricula lessons with resources from other sources. Examples of such resources can include songs, movies, printed published literature, video clips and websites.

Foursquare Australia authorises its SRE teachers to use additional resources provided that each resource is:

  • aligned to lesson outcomes of the approved curricula lesson being taught
  • appropriate for the students’ age, maturity and educational context
  • consistent with Foursquare Australia’s Social Media Policy and Procedures & Audio-visual Material in Schools Policy
  • consistent with the NSW DET Code of Conduct, Social Media & Controversial Issues policies

If in doubt, please contact your local SRE coordinator or email the sremanager@foursquare.org.au

Initial SRE Teacher Training

» Teacher Authorisation Processes
» SRE Teacher Audit Process
(this includes the Teacher Self-Reflection Questionnaire & Teacher Classroom Observation Form)
» Complaint Policies and Procedures
» Foursquare Australia’s SRE Teacher Manual
» SRE Code of Conduct
» Complaint Form
» Teacher Basic Training
» SRE Training modules
» Social Media Policy and Procedures

Information regarding the mandatory Working with Children Check and how to apply can be found here:
» https://www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/child-safe-organisations/working-with-children-check

The Foursquare Church Australia Guidelines can be found here:
» Foursquare-Working-with-Children-Check-Policy-and-Procedures-v0-3.pdf

Safe Church Training:

Foursquare Australia requires all ministers/employees and volunteers to complete an initial Safe Church Training workshop, and subsequent Safe Church training refresher courses every 3 years. As a signatory to the Safe Churches Training Agreement (SCTA), Foursquare Australia will also recognise any SCTA approved training provided by another denomination.

For more information: www.foursquareaustralia.org/safechurch

More Information available here: safechurchcoordinator@foursquare.org.au

For a calendar of upcoming Safe Church training events across Australia, click here:
» http://www.ncca.org.au/index.php/scta/scta-upcoming-events