Unfortunately many schools seem to think that students who do not participate in SRI classes can do little more than sit outside the classroom doing quiet reading.
This is not true.
This misunderstanding is because the Department of Education’s OLD policy for SRI used to say, “Secular instruction may not be timetabled while students from the class are attending special religious instruction”.
This policy was updated in August 2011 to make it clearer that schools CAN offer alternative activities to students.
The CURRENT policy says that principals must, “ensure that students who do not attend SRI are appropriately supervised by teachers, and engaged in positive, independent learning such as self study, including revision or other activities, for example, community service, peer mentoring, participation in clubs or instruction in areas outside the core curriculum”. Clearly this includes a lot more than quiet reading!
In the past, we have asked you to tell us about problems you are facing with SRI. THIS time, we want to know what GOOD alternatives schools out there are offering to students.
Our plan is circulate advice to school principals about what alternatives can be offered, citing examples from other schools. We hope that by letting them know what other schools are doing, they will realize that they can offer genuine alternatives to SRI. Obviously we would prefer that SRI wasn’t offered in the first place, but while it is still happening in schools, we can at least make sure that good alternatives are available.
So… what GOOD alternatives are students not participating in SRI experiencing in Victoria?
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