Ethics supporters ticked-off over exclusion from enrolment forms

ETHICS REVIEW: More parents are opting to enrol their children in public school ethics classes, where it is provided despite a review opting not to include the course on enrolment forms. FILE PHOTO
ETHICS REVIEW: More parents are opting to enrol their children in public school ethics classes, where it is provided despite a review opting not to include the course on enrolment forms. FILE PHOTO

A report into Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics released this month, has been welcomed by Primary Ethics but there is still concern the subject is not receiving equal treatment with scripture.

The number of students taking part in ethics classes is increasing at Millthorpe, Nashdale, Bletchington and Calare public schools with Orange Public School being the latest to introduce the elective program.

However, while ethics volunteers have been pleased the report into the 2015 review has been released, one of the biggest issues for ethics supporters was that a provision for ethics to be included on enrolment forms has again been rejected. 

Millthorpe Public School ethics coordinator and teacher Darrin Yates said the report highlights growth in ethics class participation and that parents want more ethics classes to be provided so the option should be included on entrolment forms at participating schools.

“As a parent of children at a public school it is unacceptable that the government does not give ethics equal standing [with religious instruction] on the school enrolment form,” Mr Yates said.

“If parents have an equal choice, which they do, why is the government not promoting that choice equally?”

Since Mr Yates started the ethics program at the school with eight students in 2014, it has increased to 110 of the school’s 287 students.

Primary Ethics Central West regional manager Sue Moffatt said ethics was still in the early stages in Orange compared to Sydney where it is more popular.

However she said ethics was strong at Nashdale and Calare and after starting among kindergarten students at Orange Public School last year, the number of ethics classes has increased.