28 Jul 2015

School prayer groups in NSW face audit

8:44 pm on 28 July 2015

The New South Wales Government has announced a state-wide audit of all prayer groups conducted in public schools, following allegations of radical Islam being preached in a Sydney playground.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said the audit was not targeted at Muslims but at minorities who might expose students to violent extremist ideologies.

NSW Premier Mike Baird.

NSW Premier Mike Baird. Photo: AAP

"We're doing this together... I have been nothing but absolutely in awe of the Muslim leadership," Mr Baird told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

"They have been determined to stamp out extremism."

He said the government would not allow schools to become breeding grounds for radicalism.

"We need to ensure that everyone is aware of an appropriate process and what to look for and what to listen for," he told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

The announcement of an audit comes days after allegations from counter-terrorism police that a 17-year-old had been preaching extremist ideology in the playground at Sydney's Epping Boys High School.

Police and the NSW Department of Education have responded to a small number of incidents in the past year, including the incident at Epping Boys High School.

The education department and police were expected to issue a memo to all principals today, outlining their obligations to report extremism.

Police will also develop training for the department on radicalisation and extremism.


Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs