Freedom of Religion at Schools

State secondary schools may hold religious observances providing students and staff can choose whether or not to attend them. In state primary schools the teaching is to be entirely of a secular character and the school must be "closed" if religious instruction or observances are to take place during the school day. Attendance, however, is not compulsory as teachers and pupils' parents have "opt out" rights.

In integrated schools, discrimination on the basis of religious or ethical belief is permitted where religious instruction forms part of the special character of the school. If the school is a primary school, if the principal or assistant principal have responsibility for supervising junior classes, and if the terms of the school's integration agreement provide, an advertisement for a position within the school may stipulate that a willingness and ability to take part in religious instruction appropriate to that school is to be a condition of appointment. Different treatment is also permitted when the sole or principal duties of the position involve the propagation of the school's religious belief, are those of a teacher in a private school, or consist of acting as a social worker on behalf of an organisation whose members support that belief.