Hon John Aquilina AM to Chair the Inter Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools (ICCOREIS)
Mr John Aquilina has been elected unanimously to the role of Chairperson of the Inter Church Commission of Religious Education in Schools (ICCOREIS) at its recent annual meeting. The members of the Commission make up a diverse range of Christian denominations, representing around 80% of Special Religious (SRE) providors in Mew South Wales. Mr Aquilina comes to the role with almost 30 years of experience as a member of the NSW Parliament. He was a minister for eleven and a half years, including six years and seven months as Ministerfor Education and Training. Mr Aquilina was appointed as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 2003, and in 2007 was made Leader of the House. Mr Aquilina is a committed Christian with a passion for quality Public Education. He taught English and History in New South Wales Secondary Schools for ten and a half years prior to his entering Parliament. In taking on the role of Chairperson of ICCOREIS, Mr Aqualina aims to ensure "that the contribution made by Christian Churches to the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) through the provision of Special Religious Education in NSW is appropriatlely recognised and celebrated as a strength of Public Education."
2012 SRE Update
May 2012 - SRE Update
SRE Sunday Pack
Promote SRE in your church, download the SRE Sunday Pack.
SRE strengthened by Minister for Education
See media release 11th November 2011
The orientation pack is a set of documents that can be used by SRE coordinators and teachers, to explain and promote SRE to parents enrolling their children for kindergarten. It consists of a MS PowerPoint presentation, two sample letters and the SRE and Your Child brochure, all of which can be customised to suit specific situations. These are available for download from the Promoting SRE section of the Resources page.
SRE Curriculum Page
If you would like to see what the major curriculum publishers for NSW have available, go to our SRE Curriculum page. There you will see a brief description of each publisher's material, with a link to their website for further details.
To access these and many other useful resources, see the Resources page.
Statement from the ICCOREIS Chairperson, Ann Maree Whenman 26th November 2010
Ethics and SRE, by association, have been in the news and once again ICCOREIS seeks to respond in a collaborative and constructive manner.
Firstly, it must be acknowledged that whatever the decisions made by either party, Labor or Liberal, the future of SRE is assured. With this in mind, ICCOREIS will continue to engage in discussions and collaboration with the DET and the St James Ethics Centre so that SRE can be provided in the most positive climate possible.
In 2011, the introduction of ethics courses will also go ahead for students in years 5 and 6. It is not clear, at this stage, how many schools will offer classes and how many SRE classes will be affected.
There are some positive actions that can be taken to improve the provision of SRE at the state and local level.
One of the objectives of ICCOREIS, as the peak body for SRE, is to facilitate research, conferences, support materials, training, networking and communication. At the state level ICCOREIS is currently engaged with training agencies within its member churches to create a common framework for training and accreditation. ICCOREIS is committed to underwriting a training DVD which will promote best practice in the SRE classroom. Various tools for SRE promotion are being produced, such as a Kindergarten Orientation resource pack, which will shortly be available on the website. The website is undergoing some work to assist those who are looking for curriculum material.
ICCOREIS is committed to assisting in the formulation of policy and procedural recommendations on Religious Education in government schools. An investigation into what is needed by the providers at the local level will likely produce some fresh ideas and assist in preparing for a possible new landscape for SRE in 2011. It is important to work with the resources we have and the most effective approach is to continue to concentrate on the improvement of the provision of SRE so that the standard of SRE lessons and SRE teachers can bear the scrutiny that has been applied to ethics. A complementary approach is to concentrate on the provision of SRE lessons to year 4 pupils. These children will be the first intake into ethics classes. It is essential that their parents are given good information about proposed SRE classes for years 5 and 6 at the end of this term in order to make a fully informed decision. The role of the local provider is to support their right to choose.
ICCOREIS is committed to representing its member organisations in negotiations with government, the DET, the Board of Studies, relevant parent organisations and other approved providers. Our goal is to make this a positive experience for all children and all providers. In the current climate, it is perhaps more important than ever in the history of the Commission and the provision of SRE that SRE providers work closely together. Differences need to be set aside. Failure to communicate in an open and constructive manner with other providers will significantly reduce the effectiveness of our ministry and our Christian witness.
Should any SRE provider require assistance or further information please contact the ICCOREIS Executive Officer, Mrs Sue Sneddon, phone: 02 4979 1328, mobile: 0400 652 505, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Law ensures ethics classes start in 2011
The Education Amendment (Ethics) Bill 2010 was passed by NSW parliament, effective 7th December 2010, ensuring the introduction of ethics classes.
NSW government legislates to protect ethics classes
The government introduced the Education Amendment (Ethics) Bill 2010 into parliament on 26th November 2010. The objective of this bill is 'to amend the Education Act 1990 to allow special education in ethics as a secular alternative to special religious education at government schools'.
For other documents, media reports and related websites, see the Ethics Course page.