Special Religious Education in Public Schools

SRE is provided in Public Schools under Section 32 of the Education Act 1990 which requires that:

‘in every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion’.

This means there is a historical and legal basis for the provision of Special Religious Education as part of the education of children and young people in New South Wales Public Schools. For  information about the Policy and Procedures governing this provision, please click on the link below.

Department of Education Religious Education Implementation Procedures

         The Religious education implementation procedures will be superseded by the

 Special Religious Education Procedures  

in 2019. The department has worked collaboratively with the NSW Consultative Committee for SRE to revise the SRE procedures in line with recommendations from the 2015 Review of Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics in NSW Government schools.

Where possible, Catholic SRE is taught in Public Schools by Catechists, otherwise known as SRE Teachers.

What is a Catechist


Catechists are parish volunteers who…

  • Teach and share their faith with children of their parish who attend government schools.
  • Have a passion for sharing the gift of faith with young people.
  • Have a couple of hours per week spare to share their time and talents with young people.
  • Are people who respond to the central mission of the Church to make Jesus known and loved.

The fundamental vocation and mission of the parish is:

“to be a place in the world for the community of believers to gather together

as a sign and instrument of the vocation of all to communion,

in a word, to be a house of welcome and a place of service to all.”  

                                                                                                                     Pope Saint John Paul II          

For those who cannot or do not attend Catholic Schools, SRE provides a religious dimension in state schooling which contributes to a Catholic education. The parish has a responsibility to assist parents to provide a Catholic education for their children according to circumstances.

  • Catechists, (Catholic SRE teachers)  offer the genuinely human values of the Gospel as a contribution to the personal development of students.
  • Catechists assist the Parish Priest to fulfil his obligations in Religious Education as well as assist and support parents in their responsibility.
  • Statistics show that almost half of our Catholic students attend Public schools.

“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers,

and if he does listens to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

 Pope Saint Paul VI  


Catholic SRE is managed in NSW Public Schools by the

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.