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Adelaide school’s very specific request baffles jobseekers

Jobseekers have been left baffled by a school’s job posting requiring applicants to demonstrate “regular church attendance”.

Harvest Christian College in Kadina on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula submitted a job listing on Monday for a Student Support Officer.

According to Seek, the successful applicant would need to demonstrate not only relevant qualifications, but a commitment to religious tenants.

“Applicants will need to demonstrate a sincere commitment to Jesus Christ and the philosophy of Christian education,” the posting stated.

The applicant will also need to show: “regular church attendance; and, agreement with the College’s Basis of Faith”.

If successful, the applicant would work within classrooms supporting students with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The requirement for an applicant to be churchgoing raised eyebrows online amid questions of its legality.

<img src=”https://cue.wanews.com.au/webservice/thumbnail/article/11453995″ id=”_21ea8b0a-7cd0-4faa-8a4b-80a481be7eca” capiid=”431babad436475be22a96c67e7f93977″ alt=”Harvest Christian College in Kadina on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula created a job listing on Monday requiring “regular church attendance. Picture: Supplied” caption=”Harvest Christian College in Kadina on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula created a job listing on Monday requiring “regular church attendance. Picture: Supplied”>

“Is this legal under FairWork?” wrote one person.

“Although at a religious school, I’ve never seen a job ad that stipulates ‘regular church attendance’.

“I mean, demonstrating a commitment to the ideals of the schools faith is one thing.

“But, mandating regular church attendance seems rather discriminative to me.”

Some users questioned why a nonbeliever might want to work at a religious school, while others defended the posting.

“Do you really want to apply for a job at a religious institution of you’re a diehard atheist?” one user wrote.

Another said: “It’s good that they lay their cards on the table upfront.

“Imagine if you got a job there and then realised this is what they were like.”

A second posting for temporary relief teachers included similar requirements of church attendance and “sincere commitment” to Jesus.

The posting comes only months after the Australian Law Reform Commission released its draft plan to update anti-discrimination laws.

Under the consultation paper, the ALRC proposed new protections for teachers and staff at religious schools from discrimination.

The proposal would allow religious schools to “maintain their religious character” by giving preferences based on religious grounds.

Schools would also be permitted to require all staff, including teachers, to respect the “educational institution’s religious ethos”.

Christian Schools Australia Director of Public Policy Mark Spencer said religious schools wanted to choose staff who shared in their beliefs.

“To use the language of the Law Reform Commission, schools are trying to build a community of faith,” he said.

“To do that, you‘ve got to have people of faith. Now, that’s just not just around teaching positions necessarily.

“That’s across the whole school community, where we expect everyone to be able to share their faith.

“And, to model their faiths to students, to our staff, and to members of the public they might engage with.”

Camera IconHarvest Christian College in Kadina on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. Google Credit: NCA NewsWire

Mr Spencer said support staff like the role being advertised, while not teaching, still “modelled the behaviour” and faith of the school.

He said staff who might wish to apply but did not meet the churchgoing requirements could find work elsewhere.

“There are lots of other schools around the place,” he said.

“Parents have choice as to where they send their children.

“Staff have choice as to where they go and apply for a job.

“We‘re very clear about who we are, what we want, and what we’re looking for with our staff.”

According to the the school website, Harvest Christian College offers a range of classes, but “provides Christian emphasis in all subjects taught”.

The school is a multi-denominational college, with “children from eight denominations attending”, and is governed by a College Board.

“The College Board is elected by the Copper Triangle Christian School Association,” the website states.

“It is made up of parents and interested Christian community members.

“(The school) is affiliated with over 100 other schools through Christian Schools Australia (CSA) Ltd.

“It is also a registered by the Non-Government Schools Registration Board and is affiliated with the Association of independent Schools of S.A.”

https://www.perthnow.com.au/business/finance/adelaide-schools-very-specific-request-baffles-jobseekers-c-11454000 Adelaide school’s very specific request baffles jobseekers

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