Legal Matters

Status of Volunteers

SRE teachers are volunteers acting on behalf of the leadership and authorising body of their religious provider. They must be registered, authorised, accredited, approved and trained. The religious provider has civil responsibility for the actions of SRE teachers. SRE teachers are not Department of Education volunteers and are classed as visitors.

Duty of Care

Duty of Care in NSW government schools resides with the Department of Education. This responsibility is shared during SRE classes. SRE teachers are expected to provide a suitable Duty of Care to their class during the time they are teaching and comply with school policies. According to DoE guidelines, a briefing session should be provided at the start of each year to include the school discipline plan, the school emergency and evacuation plan and other topics as deemed necessary by the school.

Maintaining a roll

As part of their Duty of Care, SRE teachers are expected to keep an accurate roll of students attending their classes. This should be completed at the beginning of each lesson and the School SRE Coordinator should be notified, as soon as is practical, of students who were missing from an SRE class who are not absent from school on that day.


Under Department of Education policy, SRE teachers are entitled to receive a class list at the beginning of the year, including any special information such as disability or special needs that might affect the performance of particular students (but not other private information).

No photographs may be taken of individuals or small groups of students. Photographs may only be taken of larger groups of students, but then only with the permission of the school.

As an infant at primary school I regularly attended SRE classes and was genuinely moved by the transparency, honesty, sincerity, gentleness and kindness of one teacher in particular. When in year 9 I dropped out of SRE and was horribly disobedient and nasty to my SRE teacher, although my teacher was patient and gentle toward me. Several years later, after experiencing such things as an eating disorder, Chronic Fatigue and Depression ... led me to have a greater optimism, hope and peace, when I reflected on my experiences in SRE and chose to be a Christian.