Review of Religious Instruction in state schools - Education Act 2006

Eligibility - Queensland residents
Principal Petitioner:
Alison Courtice
PO Box 185
Total Signatures - 4,198
Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament
Posting Date: 7/6/2019
Closing Date: 15/9/2019
Tabled Date: 17/9/2019
Responded By: Hon Grace Grace MP on 17/10/2019
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that century-old provisions in the Queensland Education Act give right of entry to religious representatives to provide religious instruction to state school students during school hours; principals may also arrange for selected Bible lessons by teachers. In our increasingly diverse society, the way religion is presented in state schools should be modernised so all children are educated by classroom teachers from a departmentally-approved curriculum about major world religions and non-religious views, rather than the current practice of segregating children by religion to receive faith instruction from volunteers largely without teaching experience or qualifications. As parents are free to attend to their children’s faith development in their own time, state school time must be used to present religion in an educational, respectful and inclusive manner. Freedom of religion and belief required under the Human Rights Act 2019 is best served by creating a state school environment that nurtures knowledge and mutual understanding. An academic approach to the subject of world views will be invaluable to children as they navigate the multicultural society they live in and help combat religious intolerance and extremism, consequently enhancing religious freedom for all.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to conduct a review into the Religious Instruction provisions in the Education Act 2006 to determine if RI is the appropriate form of presenting religion in state schools to ensure an educationally sound, inclusive and non-discriminatory experience for all children, regardless of their religious affiliation status.