Special Religious Education (SRE) in Government Schools

Special Religious Education

From the 2015 Review of SRE findings the Department of Education NSW recommends approved providers have in place a system of ongoing SRE training, review and support which includes Child Protection, Classroom Management, DoE Policy and Procedure, Codes of Conduct, age appropriate sensitive teaching, and teacher reflective practice. 

Regular review of SRE teaching practice may include adherence to the approved authorised curriculum, teaching the curriculum with sensitivity and in an age appropriate manner, teacher classroom observation, coordinator feedback and further support. Contact the Deanery SRE coordinator for more information

Most government primary schools and many high schools have religious education provided for students. SRE lessons are usually 30 minutes once a week in primary schools. These lessons are presented by authorised, trained and dedicated volunteers from Catholic parishes and other churches.  Families have the choice to send their children to these lessons or an alternative activity.

Special Religious Education (SRE) is an important ministry within the diocese that supports parents, students, clergy and parishes in the religious education of Catholic students attending government schools. Family Ministry Coordinators support this ministry so the developing faith of children and young people is based on sound educational principles and sensitive age appropriate teaching.

SRE is often referred to as 'Scripture' and SRE volunteers may also be referred to as Catechists or Scripture Teachers.

How do I become an SRE volunteer?

Special Religious Education (SRE) teachers are volunteers who are authorised, trained and commissioned by the parish priest to go into the classroom to teach religious education using an approved curriculum.

Successful SRE volunteers have a love for children and communicate well with them. They are comfortable with being on a faith journey with the children and are willing to learn more about themselves and their faith. They will commit to attend classes punctually and regularly.

Volunteers are required by law to have a Working with Children Check clearance and declare they have not committed offenses against children. There is regular child protection training including adherence to the Diocesan SRE Code of Conduct.  Complaints about SRE volunteers are handled fairly using appropriate procedures.

If you are interested in knowing more about becoming an SRE volunteer contact the local parish leader or SRE coordinator.

See Authorisation Procedure.

SRE Training

Initial training for SRE involves being introduced to the CoC and completion of child protection training which is updated every 5 years.

New volunteers are also required to complete further initial SRE training within the first year in the ministry.  Depending on whether they are involved in Catholic SRE or Christian SRE this training will be either the Renew course or Basic SRE.  Both these courses meet the standard recommended by ICCOREIS.

Catholic Denominational SRE

Christian Inter-denominational SRE



·        Mission of SRE Ministry

·         Teaching SRE in government schools

·        Planning engaging SRE lessons

·         Learning and Teaching

·        Child Protection

·         Preparing and delivering lessons

·        Faith and Human Development

·         Communicating in the classroom

·        Positive Classroom Management

·         Introduction to the Bible

·        Introduction to the Bible

·         Classroom experience

Ongoing Training

SRE volunteers are offered a range of formation and training opportunities each year.

Encouragement days are used to explore teaching and learning such as classroom management and appropriate teaching strategies.  Days of Prayer and Reflection are where volunteers deepen their understanding of the faith.


Would you like to fund Special Religious Education? Donate now. 

  • $10 will provide a workbook for a child for a year
  • $100 will provide workbooks for a small class
  • $1000 will provide workbooks for a small school


This ministry forms an alliance of ministries supported by the Office of Life & Faith

Call (02) 4979 1328

Email Now!

Special Religious Education Handbook

SRE (Scripture) Image