30 May 2012
Nile’s Inquiry sees the light
Parents4ethics are today delighted that Ethics classes are set to continue to be offered alongside Special Religious Education (SRE) classes in NSW primary schools.
Parents across NSW are relieved that the report recommends that government should not revert to the discriminatory policy of prohibiting children from any meaningful learning if they opt out of SRE.
Spokesman for the group, David Hill, the former Managing Director of the ABC, said that “the issue has always been about the estimated 25 percent of kids across the state who opt out of scripture classes, many who now have the opportunity to be engaged weekly in this time slot”.
“We were always confident of this being the outcome” said Hill. “It was inconceivable that the committee could have made recommendations to the contrary and since the two main church groups, the Anglicans and the Catholics, changed their stance last year and supported the classes, there has really only ever been a phantom opposition”.
“We are delighted that committee members have listened to the overwhelming parent and public support on this issue, and that they have recognised the outstanding curriculum and implementation of these classes by Primary Ethics.”
In the wake of this report, Parents4ethics also applauds the recommendation that both SRE and Ethics classes be reviewed in 2014-15, but are disappointed that this is not happening earlier for SRE.
Parents4Ethics asked the committee that in the interests of fairness and consistency, all SRE curricula should immediately undergo the same rigorous evaluation that Ethics classes had received.
Hill points out that Parliament has never examined SRE in this way since its inception 132 years ago.