SPECIAL Religious INSTRUCTION
Special Religious Instruction (SRI) is provided at Eltham North Primary School (after school in 2017) in the Christian faith, by volunteer instructors accredited by ACCESS Ministries. SRI is instruction in the specific religious beliefs and tenets of a religion, and is not to be confused with General Religious Education (GRE). GRE is education about religions (which may or may not include using representatives of a particular faith to explain the workings and belief structure of their religion), whereas SRI programs are instruction in a particular religion and may include scriptural studies, and instruction in how to live and behave according to the tenets of the particular faith.
SRI does not provide an overview of all faiths or religions. Each particular SRI offering is instruction in one faith only, provided by a church or other religious group. Given the religious nature of the program, the Department of Education and Training does not endorse program content used to deliver SRI by accredited volunteer instructors.
Participation in Special Religious Instruction is voluntary. Schools cannot place children in SRI unless parental consent is provided for a child to participate (opt-in). Consent forms will be issued annually, and if parents wish their children to participate in SRI they will need to return the form each time it is issued. Any fee associated with participating in SRI will be listed on the consent form, and collected after consent forms have been returned. Students not participating in SRI will be engaged in educationally valuable activities that are outside the core curriculum in a separate classroom or learning space to the students participating in SRI.
The Department of Education and Training’s policy on SRI is available at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/curriculum/pages/religious.aspx”