In the July 2016 edition of Journey, we explored the issue of religious instruction (RI) taught in Queensland state primary schools. It was a hot-topic following various media reports on RI and a school principal suspending the program at a Brisbane state school. A state government review into the management of RI in state schools and the Connect RI curriculum soon followed.
On 18 August, the Minister for Education Kate Jones announced the outcomes of the review.
“The department’s review found the vast majority of Connect materials are consistent with legislation and policy concerning religious instruction,” said the Minister.
A number of improvements will be made to the RI program in response to the review including a new process for the Department to review authorised RI programs to ensure legislative compliance and best classroom practice; better communication with parents; and a data collection process to measure the number of students participating in RI.
No changes will be implemented to the enrolment process for RI and it will remain opt-in.
Uniting Church, Queensland Synod moderator Rev David Baker met with the Minister and other denominational representatives to hear the outcomes of the review.
“These recommendations support the delivery of a quality RI program in schools, and the Uniting Church, Queensland Synod welcomes this outcome,” David said.
“We appreciate the work of the Minister and the Department in completing this review, and commend the Minister for her work and leadership in the delivery of RI in Queensland state schools.”
Queensland Christian Religions Instruction Network spokesperson Karen Grenning commented, “We greatly appreciate that RI remains in curriculum time, as it has for more than a century.”
“The Network is grateful to the Minister for retaining Queensland parents’ freedom to choose to opt-in to RI.”
The review’s full report is available here.