CATH NEWS REPORT: Although ethics classes will be voluntary for NSW primary schools, the Sydney Morning Herald has confirmed that parents who want the classes for children will be able to appeal to the Education Department if the principal and the majority of the school community opposes.
The state cabinet is expected to approve the introduction of ethics classes to primary schools today after a successful trial this year. They will begin as early as term one next year.
As long as the St James Ethics Centre, which will run the classes, is able to provide volunteers and there is a reasonable number of children to attend them, the department will ensure they are offered.
Students in years 5 and 6 are likely to be the first to be offered the classes, because they are the years in which the trial was run. Eventually classes will be offered in years K-6.
The Minister for Education, Verity Firth, will take the proposal to cabinet having received 745 submissions in response to an independent report on the trial that was published last month.
Of the submissions, only 15 were against the introduction of ethics classes. However, many of those in support came via a form letter organised by the lobby group parents4ethics. http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=24258