They are urging the public to sign a petition in support of chaplaincy in schools as ongoing funding has not been confirmed (The program was established for an initial period of three years). View the Media Release here
The National School Chaplaincy Program was introduced in 2007 by the Coalition Government and enabled schools to employ a part-time school chaplain for the purpose of providing pastoral care and guidance across religious denominations and beliefs in schools.
The Rudd Labor Government, however, has refused to confirm that it will continue to provide funding for the program beyond next year.
This is despite the Prime Minister praising the work that school chaplains do, at one stage saying, ‘they (Chaplains) actually are providing the glue which keeps school communities rolling.’(Kevin Rudd, Questions Without Notice, 27 October 2009) – Senator Guy Barnett
90 Tasmanian schools have engaged a chaplain under the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) since its introduction and 97% of the participating School Principals, Nationwide, support the continuing of the program.
They help individuals and school communities to explore big questions about life and spirituality, and do so in an open and inclusive manner which many teachers and parents, who were initially skeptical, have found to be refreshing and beneficial. – Ruth Pinkerton
Our school chaplains provide much needed pastoral care in our schools. In the current culture of our day our children are dealing on a daily basis with significant and major issues. Ruth Pinkerton lists some of these as being:
- Family issues,
- Sexual and mental health issues, – for example the sexualisation of girls
- Alcohol and drug abuse, &
It is expected the Rudd Government will give serious consideration to renewing and even expanding funding.
From Greg Foot Letters to the Editor, The Mercury, 3 November (Scripture Union Chaplaincy Support Officer).
Please also consider passing around the petition to your family and friends.
Please pray for our school chaplains, Scripture Union and the many volunteers who have a passion to input into our children’s lives with pastoral care and guidance through this valuable program.