Write to the Education Review Office
ERO reports refer to a specific school. You should read your schools most recent ERO repot.
If you have concerns with the way Religious Instruction is being conducted at your child’s school you can write to the ERO and ask them to put your concerns on the school file, so that it is look at as part of the next review. You can explain that the school is not being inclusive because of the way they conduct Religious Instruction. You may also want to complain that the ERO has not looked into the issues around Religious Instruciton. To which they will probably reply that they have been asked to focus on the core areas of reading, writting and mathematics. So, don’t forget to mention how Religious Instruction is resulting in less class time and therefore is distracting from the core curriculum areas. If your school has poor academic performance in one area you can suggest that the school could use this time to improve this area. Your complaint should be sent to your local EOR office
Here is an example of a more specific letter to the ERO. (some information has been removed to protect the school and complainant)
Education Review Office
Level 1, 101 Lambton Quay
RE: XXXXX SCHOOL ERO report
To whom it may concern,
This letter is a complaint about the XXXXX School ERO report. There is a serious issue which appears to have not been followed up on.
In the 2008 ERO report your office raised the issue that the school is not clearly identifying the religious nature of their values programme.
Three years later in 2011, at the time your next review was done, there was still no clear communication with parents.
- The school’s permission slip remained completely misleading to parents.
- The school’s website had no mention of any Religious Instruction (and continues not to do so).
- Communication with parents discussing this program does not mention the religious nature, for example…
When parents (including myself) made Verbal enquiries about the Values programme school employees told us that it was “not Religious”.
As a result, children (including my own) were routinely put in Religious Instruction without informed consent from their family. Parents cannot make an informed decision to opt-out, if we are not informed that our children are being placed in such a program.
It appears that the ERO has not followed up on their recommendations of the School’s 2008 report. It is important that parents and other outside groups can have confidence in the quality of service provided by the Education Review.
We have complained directly to the school about this issue. The reason for this letter is to ask why you, the ERO, are not following up on you own recommendations?
I would like to see an immediate review of the School to follow up on the issues raised in the School’s 2008 ERO report with appropriate recommendations being made to the School regarding informing parents about withdrawing children from Religious Instruction.
I would like the Education Review Office to examine the procedures used in the School’s 2011 ERO report as to determine why the issues raised in the School’s 2008 ERO report appear to have not been followed up on. If appropriate, system wide policies and procedures regarding the review of Religious Instruction should be revised.
I appreciate your time and look forward to your response.