SRE Program

The Buddhist Council is an authorised provider of special religious education (SRE) to public schools in NSW.

Every government school in NSW is required to allow between 30 to 60 minutes per week for Special Religious Education (SRE) for children from years Kindergarten (Stage 1) to Year 10 (Stage 5). SRE is delivered by volunteers from local school communities and managed by providers authorised by the NSW Department of Education. The Buddhist Council works to train and support Buddhist SRE teachers in their efforts to help thousands of young people gain awareness of the Buddhist path.

SRE Information

To provide Buddhist SRE teachers some guidance in their approach to teaching children, BCNSW uses the authority of the Buddha’s own approach to teaching Dharma (Anguttara Nikaya V.159).

  • Gradual. Teachers should use a logical and step-by-step approach, taking account of the
    current level of understanding of the children.
  • Showing Causality. Teaching the reality of cause-and-effect can help any age group to
    understand the basics of the Buddha’s teachings.
  • Compassion. Teaching Dharma can help young people to lead a better life and can help
    them to overcome suffering.
  • Not for Financial Gain. Dharma should not be taught for personal financial gain. This does
    not preclude teachers being compensated by the Buddhist council for out-of-pocketexpenses.
  • Without Disparaging. Dharma should be taught without disparaging oneself or others. This
    means showing respect to all Buddhist traditions as well as other faith traditions.

The role of the SRE Manager is to provide support to all BCNSW SRE Teachers. 

The role of the School’s SRE Coordinator is to provide support for BCNSW SRE Teachers by informing them of school policies. 

The School’s SRE Coordinator is usually the School’s Principal or Vice Principal. 

SRE Authorisation

The Buddhist Council of NSW is the largest Approved Provider of Buddhist SRE to NSW public schools.

The following steps must be completed to be authorised as a Buddhist SRE teacher by BCNSW:

  1. Register as a volunteer with BCNSW
  2. Apply for the Working with Children Check (WWCC)
  3. Book into BCNSW’s SRE Training (12 hours, conducted annually)
  4. Sign SRE Code of Conduct
  5. Provide a Reference Letter from your Temple or Sangha. If you do not have a Temple or Sangha, please contact the Buddhist Council SRE Manager at or at the office 02 9966 8893.
  6. The Buddhist Council of NSW will provide a letter to the schools which clearly identifies the approved provider and includes the name of authorised teacher(s), Working With Children Check details, date of birth and contact details. The letter is updated annually before SRE commences in Term 1 or as required.

The teacher’s accreditation will cease and the teacher will be unable to continue teaching if the SRE

  1. Is found to be in breach of the SRE code of conduct
  2. Misuses the SRE Resource Portal
  3. Does not follow the Buddhist SRE Syllabus or Buddhist SRE Handbook
  4. Is found by the SRE Program Manager to have behaved inappropriately
  5. Loses his or her WWCC clearance

SRE Training

Becoming an SRE teacher with the Buddhist SRE Program run by the Buddhist Council of New South Wales (BCNSW) requires three steps. The staff at the BCNSW in the SRE Support Team will guide the new teacher through this process.

  1. Buddhist SRE Training. Prospective teachers are required to complete of a number of training modules:
    o Diversity of Buddhist traditions provides an appreciation of all Buddhist cultures and practices (TM-11)
    o Introduction to Buddhist SRE outlines the scope of the program including the syllabus, scope and sequence and the working relationships with schools and the Buddhist Council as an Approved Provider  (TM-41)
    o Working with Children gives essential guidance on safe and proper working with children through completion of Department of Education Child Protection Awareness Training, mandatory reporting requirements and  Social Media Policy (TM-42)
    o Classroom Management overviews effective skills and techniques to engage children of different ages(TM-43)
    o Resources and Lesson Planning demonstrates with many examples the practicalities of lesson planning to address the four curriculum strands  (TM-45)
  2. Accreditation. This ensures that an individual is fit to teach Buddhist SRE. This includes:
    a) Working With Children Check
    b) Reference check
    c) Interview based on SRE Appointment Standards to verify suitability based on
    • (i) maturity
    • (ii) successful completion of SRE training and
    • (iii) Buddhist background
  3. Appointment. This matches a new SRE teacher to a class and introduces the teacher to the school SRE Coordinator to commence. After appointment there may be a short probation period during which the new teacher may work with an experienced teacher (a buddy or mentor). A follow up contact from the SRE Support Team.

To register for the 12-hour training program, please follow this link.

Throughout the year, the Buddhist Council arranges workshops so that SRE teachers can share and learn new approaches to teaching that engage and interest children and young people. These in-service workshops may include presentations by guest speakers such as expert teachers or representatives from the Department of Education. Topics covered include child protection awareness, lesson planning and classroom management. We work to strengthen ongoing learning amongst teachers through regular communication and a review process that includes self-reflection and information-sharing amongst teachers to help identify areas of improvement.

SRE Curriculum

Click on the link below to access the Buddhist Council of NSW Scope and Sequence.

Buddhist Council of NSW SRE Scope and Sequence

For further information about lesson content please contact the Buddhist Council SRE Manager at or at the office 02 9966 8893.

The Buddhist Council of NSW SRE Curriculum is reviewed every 5 years with input from educators and Buddhist communities. 

For further information about the Curriculum please contact the Buddhist Council SRE Manager at or at the office 02 9966 8893.

SRE Resources

The Buddhist Council has a wealth of teaching resources available for loan and free distribution to accredited SRE teachers across NSW. These include lesson plans and handouts, teaching guides, storybooks and reference material, audio CDs and instructional DVDs.

Accredited teachers are also supported to develop their knowledge and resources with access to our online SRE Resource Portal, free membership of the Buddhist Library at Camperdown, and through ongoing training and information sharing. Teachers have also contributed to making some resources available for learning at home here.

For further information, please contact SRE Support at or call the office 02 9966 8893.

Information for Parents & Schools

Information for Parents and Caregivers

For further information about lesson content, please contact the Buddhist Council SRE Manager at or at the office 02 9966 8893.

Information for School Principals

For further information about the contents of lessons please contact the Buddhist Council SRE Manager at or at the office 02 9966 8893.

We are keen to hear any feedback or complaint about any aspect of our SRE teaching. Please fill out the form here and email it to or post to PO Box 593, Crows Nest NSW 1585