30. 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
SPECIAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
32. (1) In every government school, time is to be allowed
for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion,
but the total number of hours so allowed in a year is not to exceed,
for each child, the number of school weeks in the year.
(2) The religious
education to be given to children of any religious persuasion is to be
given by a member of the clergy or other religious teacher of that
persuasion authorised by the religious body to which the member of
clergy or other religious teacher belongs.
(3) The religious
education to be given is in every case to be the religious education
authorised by the religious body to which the member of the clergy or
other religious teacher belongs.
(4) The times at which
religious education is to be given to children of a particular
religious persuasion are to be fixed by agreement between the principal
of the school and the local member of the clergy or other religious
teacher of that persuasion.
(5) Children attending
a religious education class are to be separated from other children at
the school while the class is held.
(6) If the relevant
member of the clergy or religious teacher fails to attend the school at
the appointed time, the children are to be appropriately cared for at
the school during the period set aside for religious education.
OBJECTION TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
33. No child at a
government school is to be required to receive any general religious
education or special religious education if the parent of the child
objects to the child's receiving that education.
33A Special education in
ethics as secular alternative to special religious education
(1) Special education
in ethics is allowed as a secular alternative to special religious
education at government schools.
(2) If the parent of a
child objects to the child receiving special religious education, the
child is entitled to receive special education in ethics, but only if:
(a) it is reasonably practicable for special education in ethics to be
made available to the child at
the government school, and
(b) the parent requests that the child receive special education in
(3) A government school
cannot be directed (by the Minister or otherwise) not to make special
education in ethics available at the school.