CATHOLIC SPECIAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (SRE) AUTHORISATION PROCESS
Not just “anyone” can be a an SRE Teacher (also known as a Catechist) in a Public School in New South Wales. A person must firstly be authorised by the SRE Provider. The process to become authorised to teacher SRE on behalf of the Catholic Church in our Diocese is set out below.
- You will be required to complete a Working With Children Check
- You will complete an Authorisation Application Form to become a Catechist
- You will be interviewed by your Parish Priest/Administrator
- You will be required to complete Child Protection and Classroom Management Training
- You will be provided with details of the curriculum that is approved
- You will be provided with an Authorisation Card that must be worn when teaching or in the grounds of a public school
Further and more complete details.
The authorising priest MUST discern the suitability of an interested or potential SRE teacher or catechist in line with the Catholic Diocese of Armidale Safeguarding and Child Protection guidelines
Once the parish priest or administrator has met and conditionally approved the new recruit, the following process is undertaken to validate and authorise the new recruit as a probationary catechist or helper.
The authorising priest and Parish SRE Co-ordinator organise an initial meeting to:
- direct and assist the potential catechist or helper to apply for a Working with Children Check (WWCC). Office of the Children’s Guardian.
- direct and assist the potential catechist or helper to complete an Application for Authorisation Form.
- notify the potential catechist or helper of dates for the CCD Orientation courses facilitated by the CCD Coordinator and the requirement to complete Level 1 within their first year of service as a catechist or helper (Level 1 consists of 15 units in total, 2 hours per unit). Once a potential catechist or helper has had their WWCC number verified by the parish priest or his representative they complete the CCD Orientation Program (Appendix 1) which covers:
- the Diocese of Armidale Code of Conduct on Working with Children and Young people (SRE–specific appendix to the Diocesan Code of Conduct)
- basic classroom management procedures and techniques and use of the approved age-appropriate curriculum
- the SRE teacher/helper receives an SRE provisional authorisation card to be worn at all times whilst on school grounds (signed by authorising priest and SRE teacher) The Parish SRE Catechist Co-ordinator ensures that each catechist and helper:
- has signed the Authorisation Application Form stating that they are permitted to teach Special Religious Education in public schools
- has received a teacher’s manual and student book for class participation
- is appointed to a school and given an orientation to the policies and procedures of that school.
- will be observed by the CCD Coordinator over the course of the first year
- will completed CCD Level 1 training course within their first year of teaching
The Parish SRE Catechist Co-ordinator ensures that the names and dates of birth of the new catechists and helpers are provided to the relevant school(s) on Parish Letterhead, signed by the authorising priest. This parish letter must also state (as per the template Appendix 2) that the Approved SRE Provider is the Catholic Diocese of Armidale so that school principals and auditors can cross-check with the Department of Education’s list of Approved SRE Providers