We're not finding out about the religious education review this year
Well, I got my answer. There are currently no plans to release the findings of the review into Special Religious Education and Ethics classes in NSW schools.
As detailed in previous blog posts, I first requested information from the Department of Education on the status of this review on November 15th. After receiving an evasive answer right on the deadline, I followed it up on December 17th with a more specific request for the projected date for the release of the findings.
I received this reply three business days later: "There is not a specified timeframe for release" of the findings (the full letter is available here (PDF) and the correspondence exists here with thanks to Right to Know).
This answer is shocking. A great number of state and federal parliamentary reviews are held in a timely manner, with findings heard in parliament a few months after the close of submissions and/or receipt of reports.
In comparison, the religious education review sought public submissions until June 2015 and received a report in March 2016, and yet the findings are not even scheduled for release. Just what is so sensitive or complex about the findings of the costly review that it prevents the Department of Education from telling us what they discovered in the public school system, using public funds, nine months ago?
I will be following up on this issue in January.
If you find this information as inadequate as I do, join me and make a freedom of information request to the Information Access Unit of the NSW Department of Education, through Right to Know (this tool makes FOIs easy, public and searchable).
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