for Parents & Carers

What is Christian SRE?

Special Religious Education (SRE) also known as Scripture, is the time set aside in Public Schools where parents/carers can choose to have their children educated in the faith of their family and cultural background. The NSW Education Act (1990) allows for the local community to make this contribution to public education, via annually approved providers, responsible for authorising age-appropriate lessons, training and authorisation of teachers. Christian SRE begins with the understanding that we were created by a loving God, who calls us to fullness of life. Children are encouraged to see themselves as God sees them, full of gifts and potential to be a force for immense goodness in our world. As such, Christian SRE, contributes to positive self-image, identity and resilience, forming young people in their understanding of the morals and values from the teaching of Jesus. The Christian SRE program takes various forms in different schools and regions. In some schools individual denominations provide specific class options (E.g. Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox). In other schools Churches unite their efforts to deliver a common curriculum in combined Christian SRE classes.

Who teaches SRE?

SRE teachers are people from local Christian churches, some are paid, most are volunteers. All SRE teachers have mandatory working with children checks, as well as ongoing training in child protection and classroom management, lesson preparation and the appropriate use of authorised curriculum materials.

What is taught?

Christian SRE teachers follow an authorised curriculum enabling students to question, explore and discover more about their Christian faith by examining the Word of God, church teaching and the faith experience of others. It helps students to grasp what it means to live well, to be in relationship with God and to embrace a life of service of others. SRE teachers are encouraged to use a variety of teaching activities including writing, craft, small groups, class discussion, songs, drama, storytelling, games and new learning technologies. Every SRE provider must have on their website a link to the outline of the authorised curriculum they use. Click here to see an outline of the Explore Curriculum.

How do we choose SRE?

Schools regularly inform parents/carers of available SRE options and a participation options are included in the enrolment process. The participation letter informs parents/ carers of the SRE options available and gives parents/carers the choice of which SRE class the student may attend e.g. Anglican, Catholic or Combined Christian SRE. If a parent/carer is unsure or wants an update, they can contact the school. A parent/carer can also alter their choice at any time by sending a note to the school Principal or online at Usually SRE choices are located under section 11 "Supplementary Details" of the Online Enrolment System. SRE is all about choice and SRE providers fully support the right of parents/carers to choose any of the SRE options, or non-SRE options, including private supervised study or Special Education in Ethics classes where available.

Why Choose SRE?

Christian SRE helps students to ‘become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. It aids them to ‘have a sense of self-worth and personal identity that enables them to manage their emotional, mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing’. The NSW Government published the independent SRE review findings and recommendations in 2017. These highlighted how SRE positively contributes to students’ understanding of their cultural heritage, is an avenue for their spiritual care, builds tolerance in schools, promotes multiculturalism, contributes to a well-rounded education, and connects schools with their local community.

How to find out more about SRE at your local school. 

If you'd like to find out more about SRE at your local school, information should be available on the school website on the "Religion and Ethics" webpage under "Learning at our school". You can also contact your local school to find out more.