The role of the Religious Instruction Secretariat is:
- to oversee and coordinate the approval process by the education department of the volunteer religious instructors already approved by the nominated religious body for each faith tradition.
- to assist new religious groups to offer religious instruction in government schools
- to approve the religious curriculum to be taught in government schools
- to provide inservice training for the volunteer teachers on an annual basis
In Victoria, beginning in 1998, RfP Australia has been contracted by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development regarding the teaching of religious instruction in Victorian government schools. This process is now conducted in accordance with Section 2.2.11 on “special religious instruction” of the Victorian Education and Training Reform Act 2006.
RfP Australia oversees the provision of religious instruction in government schools, through the registration of instructors from faith communities not associated with ACCESS Ministries, the Catholic Education Office or the United Jewish Education Board. It also has been contracted by the Department to oversee the approval process of the religious instruction on behalf of the Minister. Currently, this involves the following religious groups:
- Baha’i (link to Childrens Classes – 7 x 20 minute lessons available)
- Orthodox Christian
- Hindu and Hindu Faith Formation
- Multifaith Resource (UK)