Major changes to Special Religious Education for 2017
The NSW Department of Education has amended its agreement with church denominations and religious groups who partner for Special Religious Education (SRE).
As such, more information needs to be provided to schools directly from the Approved Provider – the Uniting Church NSW/ACT, through Uniting Mission & Education (UME), not the local congregation.
For children enrolled in SRE classes, we do not foresee any disruption to the beginning of year, as these requirements are worked out behind the scenes. However, it’s a good time to voice your support and appreciation to any SRE teachers at your church and school as they may be feeling under pressure at the beginning of year getting ready for new classes to begin in the next few weeks.
For SRE representatives, this means it is vitally important that each SRE teacher/helper has a valid authorisation card issued by UME in either 2016 or 2017, to enable accurate lists of authorised SRE teachers to be forwarded to each school with Uniting Church representatives teaching scripture by 24 February 2017.
If your card was not issued in 2016 or 2017, or you have a new teacher joining your team, you need to apply for and/or renew these cards now. Find the form/letter template online at www.childrensministry.org.au/sre or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The other important things SRE teachers need to be aware of are outlined below.
- Wear a badge clearly displayed which gives your name and identifies which church you are authorised by (your name with a Uniting Church logo is sufficient).
- You must carry your valid SRE Authorisation card at all times when on school grounds for SRE.
- You must also carry photo identification as this can be matched to your name on your authorisation card if requested by school personnel to produce your identification and authorisation.
- Uniting Mission and Education is required to notify each school of the name, contact details and dates of birth of all Uniting Church SRE representatives authorised for that school. This extra step was put in place by the NSW DoE to ensure all SRE representatives are properly authorised through their denomination, not just a local informal arrangement.
If you have any further questions, please contact SRE Coordinator at UME – Emma Parr, email@example.com or phone 8838 8977.