The Authorising Priest, Parish SRE Co-ordinator, Potential Catechists/Helpers

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The authorising priest MUST discern the suitability of an interested or potential catechists in line with the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Safeguarding and Child Protection guidelines, in particular the screening of persons who work with Children Guidance Document.

Once the parish priest has met and conditionally approved the new recruit,the following process is undertaken to validate and authorise the new recruit as a probationary catechist or helper.

The authorising priest and Parish SRE Co-ordinator organise an orientation meeting to:

  • Thank the potential catechist or helper for their willingness to serve and explain what is involved in SRE.
  • Provide potential catechists and helpers with an opportunity to ask questions and clarify concerns.
  • Direct and assist the potential catechist or helper to apply for a Working with Children Check (WWCC).
  • Notify the potential catechist or helper of dates for the CCD Level 1.1 ‘induction’ courses facilitated by the Area Faith Education Officer (FEO) and the requirement to complete Level 1.2 – 1.5 within their first year of service as a catechist or helper. (Level 1 consists of 5 units in total, 4 hours per unit).
  • Notify the Area FEO that a potential catechist or helper has been recruited and has been booked in or directed to book in for the CCD Level 1 ‘induction’ course.

Once a potential catechist or helper has:

  • had their WWCC number verified by the parish priest or his representative,
  • completed the CCD Level 1.1 “Safeguarding Our Children” (SRE-specific appendix to the Archdiocesan Code of Conduct) and “The Mission of the Catechist” units, which covers safeguarding, child protection and basic classroom management procedures and techniques and use of the approved age-appropriate curriculum,
  • received training from the Parish Safeguarding Officer prior to signing the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Code of Conduct for Working with Children and Young People
  • and received an SRE authorisation “green card” name tag to display on school grounds, which has been signed both by the authorising priest and the new catechist or helper,they should:
    • attend an observation class;
    • be appointed to a school and class;
    • be given a teachers manual and student book for class preparation;
    • be orientated to the policies and procedures of this school;
    • be observed by the Area FEO and, if possible, by their Parish SRE Co-ordinator teaching their class, particularly over the course of their first year;
    • complete the CCD Level 1 training course within their first year of teaching.

The Parish SRE Catechist Co-ordinator ensures that the names and dates of birth of the new catechists and helpers are provided to the relevant school(s) on Parish Letterhead, signed by the authorising priest. This parish letter must also state (as per the template in this Handbook) that the Approved SRE Provider is the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney so that school principals and auditors can cross-check with the Department of Education’s list of approved SRE Providers.
The Parish SRE Catechist Co-ordinator ensures that each catechist and helper has signed a letter stating that they are permitted to teach Special Religious Education in public schools.