A chaplaincy program is an optional service introduced into a state school to provide students, staff and parents with support which may have a religious and/or spiritual component. Chaplaincy services provide an additional adult role model in schools.
Whilst personally modelling and owning their own faith positions or belief, chaplains avoid any implications that any one religion, denomination or other set of beliefs is advantageous or superior to any other denomination, religion or belief.
A school’s chaplaincy program complements other support services in the school such as those offered by the Guidance Officer or Youth Support Coordinator. A chaplaincy service is not a counselling service.
Chaplains do not refer to external agencies. Chaplains report issues of concern to the principal and the principal is responsible for external referral processes.
This policy position applies to all chaplaincy services in state schools, regardless of whether they are paid or voluntary and, if paid, regardless of source of funding. Local community support is required for the introduction of a chaplaincy program to a school.
Chaplains can be paid or voluntary. If a paid chaplain is providing the chaplaincy program, they must be engaged by an Accredited Employing Authority (AEA) that has been accredited by the Department of Education, Training and Employment.
Note: School funds provided by the Queensland Government for educational purposes cannot be used for chaplaincy services.
Chaplaincy programs are compatible with policies and practices that apply to delivery of any service in a multi-faith and multicultural state school community. A chaplaincy program is inclusive of and shows respect for all religious and non-religious beliefs and other stances represented in the school community. All activities and events provided within a chaplaincy program are non-discriminatory and equitably available to students of all beliefs who choose to participate.
Religious instruction is not part of a school’s chaplaincy program. However, if a paid chaplain works part-time, they may make separate arrangements to teach religious instruction outside of their normal work hours. This also applies to voluntary chaplains.