Special Religious Education (SRE) in Government Schools

Special Religious Education

Hunter SRE Recruitment Video (Captions) from Strategic Minds Communications on Vimeo.

Special Religious Education (SRE) is an important ministry within this Diocese which 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.

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.

The Diocesan Special Religious Education Handbook is useful for the correct implementation of SRE in parishes. The SRE handbook contains links to relevant sites. 

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.

How do I become an SRE volunteer?

Special Religious Education (SRE) teachers are volunteers who are authorised, trained and commissioned by the Parish Priest. Successful SRE volunteers demonstrate the skills, knowledge and attitudes to educate 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.

Approved curriculum for SRE teachers teaching Catholic SRE are:

Approved curriculum for SRE teachers teaching Combined SRE are:

Volunteers are required by law to have a Working with Children Check clearance and declare they have not committed an offence against children.

All SRE volunteers are required to:

  • Complete Diocesan Parish Volunteer Induction
  • Complete the SRE Authorisation Procedure
  • Adherence to the Diocesan SRE Code of Conduct
  • Work with SRE personnel both Parish and Diocesan
  • Attend Child Protection training
  • Attend SRE classes adequately prepared, regularly and punctually
  • Complete the initial SRE training modules within 12 months
  • Agree to attend ongoing training

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.

SRE Training

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

Regular and ongoing training for SRE includes child protection, classroom management strategies and implementation of the curriculum, relevant Department of Education policies & procedures.

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 Combined Christian SRE this training will be either the Diocesan SRE Renew course or Basic SRE. 

Both these courses meet the current, as of 2019, standard recommended by ICCOREIS.

Catholic Denominational SRE

Christian Inter-denominational SRE



·        Mission of SRE Ministry including Diocesan and Department of Education Policies and Procedures

·         Teaching SRE in government schools

·        Planning engaging SRE lessons using age appropriate, sensitive and reflective practice

·         Learning and Teaching

·        Child Protection including Duty of Care

·         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

Online Training

CCRESS provides online training for those not able to attend face-to-face training.

The training program includes units in Child Protection, Classroom Management, Curriculum Use and Lesson Planning, Teaching Authority of the Church, Introduction to the Bible, Child Development, Mission and Ministry of the Catechist and Classroom Skills/Questioning.

Access to the online training is through a log-in process. For further information on this or any other training or authorisation questions, please email sre@mn.catholic.org.au

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