The Anglican church says the National School Chaplaincy Program is working very well and does not understand why the Australian government wants to diminish its religious operation.
Changes by Labor Federal Education Minister Jason Clare will see Tasmanian schools given a choice between providing their students with a qualifed social worker or a chaplain.
There are 133 Tasmanian schools in the program which, under current arrangements, receive up to $24,000 to employ a faith-based chaplain.
Working It Out chief executive officer Lynne Jarvis said a non-faith based social worker was a more equitable option for schools, and the organistion would be advocating Tasmanian schools to take up this option.
"There has always been a problem for LGBTIQ+ students and their parents with faith-based services...many feel alienated from those services because a lot of the anti-LGBTIQ+ rhetoric comes from these organisations," Ms Jarvis said.
"For young people who are already nervous and afraid, perhaps wanting to negotiate ideas about their sexual identity, the thought of going to a chaplain, whether they are accepting or not, can be very difficult."
Anglican Bishop of Tasmania Richard Condie said an evaluation of the NSCP found 85 per cent of principals were satisfied with the program, and 91 per cent of parents supported it.
"If the program is working so well as it is, it is not clear to me why the government would need to change it," Dr Condie said.
"It has done such a power of good in so many schools across the country," he said.
"While I can understand that some opposed to Christianity might want to choose a secular alternative, we should recognise that this too is an ideological position that carries values of its own."
National School Chaplaincy Association spokesman Peter James said it was expected that a majority of schools will continue to choose chaplains.
"We acknowledge comments today from Federal Education Minister Jason Clare that schools will now be able to choose a student welfare worker or a chaplain," he said.
"This is not new and was the policy of the previous federal Labor government. At that time approximately 3,000 schools chose to continue employing trusted and trained school chaplains to support their school communities."
Education Minister Roger Jaensch said there are 24 Catholic schools, 16 Independent Schools, and 93 state schools involved in the program
He said the state would continue to work with the Australian government about the future of the program.
"Each sector is proportionally funded based on school enrolments, and is responsible for managing their own schools' participation in the program," he said.
"The Australian Government will provide its budget in October 2022, this will provide clarity on funding for the program in the 2023 school year."
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