August 21, 2015

Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino has announced that Special Religious Instruction (SRI) will be removed from school hours in 2016. SRI will be taken out of class-time and treated as an elective.

Instead, children in Victorian public schools will be taught about the major religions which make up our multicultural community, together with secular humanism and ethics – by class teachers as part of the official curriculum.

This is the prize we have been working for since FIRIS formed in 2011. And today the dream is a reality! FIRIS is grateful to the thousands of parent supporters. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!


  • Maintain an inclusive school curriculum that does not require any student to withdraw from class on account of different religious beliefs, or none.
  • Formally cease the practice of volunteer-run Religious Instruction (SRI/SRE) during school hours.
  • Follow an objective, fair and balanced comparative syllabus for education about religions and beliefs.
  • Treat all religious organisations who wish to use the school facilities outside of the school day with transparent and equitable policies.

FIRIS is a parent-driven grassroots effort.  



The main discussion between supporters is on our Facebook Page. Read the recent discussions and remember to LIKE us!

Fairness In Religions In School

Sandringham East PS is also asking parents to return an expression of interest form for SRI in 2016. This school reported a 27.8% participation rate in 2014 after the MD141 reforms, sharply down from 57.9% in 2013. ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago

Shane DalgleishTactfully worded, I like that the writer doesn't want to downplay the important place it holds in "many school communities" rather than "this school community", gives them all the license they need to come back with the inevitable outcome; SRI is not important to our school community :)2 days ago

Kathy SinclairThis is how it should be done IMO. Take it to the school community without rhetoric or heat, and let the community decide. My feeling is that most school communities will give a conclusive "no thanks" with this approach, but if some don't and a big enough cohort wants to go ahead with it, well, so be it.2 days ago

Sam Harper WyngartFails to ascertain which religion their SRI is...2 days ago

Tom RottllerVery much diplomatically written. Two points... First - As to which religion does the parent(s) their child(ren) to be delivered with? Second - "The admistrative burdon has been reduced and principals are no longer to seek parental interest each time an instructor aproaches the school to deliver SRI... Not long ago the SRI providers simply barged their way through the school doors and demanded the principal to make for them a class available. They also had it where every child had to take SRI unless the parent gave specific permission and the providers provided nothing but "fluff" to the parents in regards to information. Why not simply make SRI at the nearest church AFTER SCHOOL HOURS. I mean the church would have all the facilities and the church can contact the parent directly without the school, the principal, the school board, the administration and most of all, the students would not have to deal with this private or family taught subject.2 days ago

Fairness In Religions In School

Glenrowan PS may be using the incorrect forms to gain parental consent for SRI in 2016. The notice below appeared in their newsletter on 25th Nov, advising that SRI may return in 2016 out of school hours - subject to an available instructor and viable numbers. Parents are also advised "If you are interested in your child attending SRI in 2016 please complete the attached form." The one and ONLY consent form that is to be used can be found here - The guidelines make it clear to principals about obtaining parental consent, as set out in the guidelines: "Before a child can participate the principal must obtain a parent’s written consent. Principals must use the prescribed form – CFMD145 – for this purpose." We would hope that this very vague form will NOT be used as consent from parents for their child to participate in SRI and is only being used to gauge interest in the program. We will have this clarified with the DET. This school recorded a participation rate of only 25% in 2014. ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

Conrad Henley-CalvertIt seems a perfectly acceptable way of gauging interest, although it does make the assumption that there will only be one type of SRI running!3 days ago

Sam Harper WyngartThey'd be awfully surprised to find they'd enrolled in Jewish or Muslim classes!2 days ago

Fairness In Religions In School

Yay ... we can now all move to lovely Daylesford. Daylesford PS has just announced SRI will not return in 2016. This school was one of the rural strongholds for SRI and we are surprised by this move. "SRI Concert – farewell and thanks to our SRI teachers This Friday at 12.30 the final SRI concert will be held in the gym. As SRI will not be delivered in 2016, due to departmental changes to guidelines surrounding the delivery of SRI, I will on behalf of the school community take the opportunity to thank our long standing SRI teachers, who have volunteered many hours of their time. Many thanks to Helen for her leadership and guidance, thanks and best wishes to Dianne, Ruth, Lynette and Irene. I would also like to thank and acknowledge the work of Christine and Jaala in Buddhism, who have volunteered their services over a number of years." ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Michelle HoneySo long and thanks for all the jesus fish...4 days ago

Karen Soanemaybe these volunteers will return to the school as reading assistants and school tuckshop volunteers and use their precious time in other ways to contribute the the school and continue their involvement in the school in other useful and meaningful life changing ways.4 days ago

Harry GordonSo the Christians get multiple thanks and best wishes but the Buddhists only get one thank and an acknowledgement. I wonder what the atheists would have got had they ever been allowed within 200m of the school?4 days ago

Fairness In Religions In School

Newham PS has announced that SRI may continue after school hours in 2016 (pending interest). It will be interesting to see what occurs at this school, as they have been running the program at only 8% during class time. And it seems they might be copying Somerville Rise PS and getting parents to sign up for "SRI-for-a-day" in order to increase numbers, which is not permitted. SPECIAL RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION Family and friends of SRI students are invited to attend our Musical Pageant of The Very First Christmas on Tuesday, 8th December at 3:45pm. We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of Newham's students and their families to come along and enjoy the Pageant, also, but remind parents that the DET requires all children who participate in any SRI event to have completed a parent consent form. These are available from the office. In 2016, we will offer SRI as an after-school program rather than during class time, pending numbers. It will be an activities-based program. An expression of interest form will be sent home to all families shortly. Cost is $10 per year per child. ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Steve MorleyWhy don't they just send a curtesy bus to pick the kids up and take them back to church to be brain washed in private.4 days ago