Parties show support for religious instruction review

Political parties are showing their support for a review into religious instruction in state schools.

Chief Whip Chris Hipkins Source: 1 NEWS

Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party are indicating they would support change in the way religion is currently taught in schools.

"Religious instruction should not happen during regular school hours. No child should feel excluded or marginalised based on their or their families' values or beliefs," Labour's education spokesman Chris Hipkins said.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says it's up to Boards of Trustees to determine whether to include some, all, or no classes in religious education.

"It is for parents to decide to send their child to a school that either offers religious instruction or doesn't, and whether or not their child attends those classes," says Ms Parata.

However, the Secular Education Network (SEN) says parents should not be left to the "whim" of school boards.

It's lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission calling for the end of religious instruction during regular school hours.

SEN insists it doesn't oppose religious education in state primary schools, provided it is taught on a social studies basis, as part of the regular school programme.