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.  



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Fairness In Religions In School

Contradictions and double standards. Special Religious Education cannot exist in public schools without them. This is the reality that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews came to when he removed SRI. Contradictions have also been brought to the attention of Queensland Minister for Education Kate Jones and a review is currently taking place. Meanwhile in NSW, the Leader of the Opposition has been quoted with this position: "Scripture has been made available to public school students for many decades in New South Wales. It should continue to be made available." This is Mr. Foley's position in spite of an Education Act which states: “In government schools, the education is to consist of strictly non-sectarian and secular instruction. The words 'secular instruction' are to be taken to include general religious education as distinct from dogmatic or polemical theology.” Mr. Foley maintains this view despite a Controversial Issues in Schools policy which states: “Schools are neutral grounds for rational discourse and objective study. They are not arenas for opposing political views or ideologies.” So we find it a little surprising that Mr. Foley has recently taken to the media and to his Facebook page to decry “propaganda” in NSW schools. Mr. Foley is now suddenly concerned about ideologies breaching DoE policies. He has stated that "Our primary schools should stick to the basics and focus on teaching reading, writing and arithmetic," FIRIS will be encouraging Mr. Foley to think through these contradictory SRE positions a little deeper. If he does, we are confident that he will come to the same rational conclusion that his counterparts in Victoria and Queensland have come to. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago