Earlier this year Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools featured in an article in Australian Rationalist magazine about grassroots organisations agitating to curtail religious instruction in Australian government schools.
Effecting political change is often seen as something beyond ordinary citizens, but local action can yield results.
Alison Courtice spoke on behalf of Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools, saying:
“We believe that state schools should be free of religion unless you are going to have religious education comparing religions as part of the formal curriculum taught by teachers – we see benefit in that.
You hear from everybody: teachers, principals, parents, that there is way too much happening in schools. There is pressure on the curriculum. It is absolutely a no-brainer to remove dividing children along religious lines for instruction in how to be a of a particular religion.
If religious instruction is what is important to parents it is available in family time. There are places of worship in every suburb. Parents can take their children to Sunday school.”
You can download the full article here.
Source: Australian Rationalist Magazine, June 2018
Religious Freedom Review
On 22 November 2017, the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion.
Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools has prepared the following submission to the review:
QPSSS submission to the Ruddock Review
The Connect series is published by Christian Education Publications, the publishing arm of the Sydney Anglican Diocese. It is commonly used by religious volunteers to deliver Religious Instruction in state schools around Queensland.
These materials are not part of the formal school curriculum and are not endorsed by the Queensland Department of Education and Training.
Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools have reproduced the lesson aims and outcomes so that parents are able to make an informed choice when considering whether to enrol their child in Religious Instruction.
Parents can find the information on this page.
QPSSS is disappointed to see that Queensland state schools continue to fall prey to opportunistic evangelists. Not only are antiquated rules that allow access to students during school hours being exploited, QPSSS has uncovered an example of one state school evangelist posting photos of children in his RI class on the internet, boasting that they have been ‘born again’ thanks to his evangelism.
We’ve been sharing examples of schools that have assembly prayers or creeds with religious references.
It should be clear to everyone that has followed us for a while that parents are largely on their own if they want to effect changes and make their school inclusive of everyone.
Here are the thoughts of one parent who is trying to have her school remove the prayer from assembly.
QPSSS has prepared an example of the completed ‘Information to parents and consent form- religious instruction and other instruction’, to assist parents and principals.
Make an informed choice about your child’s participation in Religious Instruction in school.
Do the Religious Instruction providers at your child’s school use an Access Ministries program? The link below is to a pdf document that outlines the ‘Scope and Sequence’ of the program.
Access Ministries: Green Series, 2010.
For more information about Access Ministries’ Religious Instructions, read the report produced by the Department of Education and Training in February 2017:
Report on the Review of ACCESS Ministries’ Religious Instruction Materials, February 2017.
Make an informed decision about your child’s participation in Religious Instruction.
Are the Religious Instruction providers at your school using GodSpace? The link below connects you to a pdf document that outlines the ‘Themes, Overview and Aims’ of the ‘Purple 2017’ edition of Godspace.
Godspace: Purple Edition, 2017.
For more information about the GodSpace program, read the report produced by the Department of Education and Training in March, 2017:
Report on the Review of GodSpace Religious Instruction Materials
If you have read the Connect review, you will know that the reviewers were described as-
‘A mix of staff with substantial knowledge and experience in teaching, curriculum development, government policy and administration, and departmental policies and procedures including in the areas of RI, student wellbeing, inclusive education, and safe and supportive school communities undertook the review with oversight by an Executive Director.
The reviewers held qualifications in primary and secondary teaching, psychology, social sciences and governance and public policy.’
The following newsletter, dated 12 April 2016, was downloaded from this page. Until recently, it was downloadable from the link titled ‘RI in schools.docx’. We downloaded it ourselves on 10 September 2016.
The newsletter is attributed to Fiona Cran, a member of the Religious Instruction Quality Assurance (RIQA) Task Group – the people who are supposed to ‘oversee the quality of RI’.