Primary Ethics was established to provide young people with the space to explore ethical dilemmas within a secular context.
Following almost eight years of lobbying by parents, the Federation of P&C Associations of NSW and The Ethics Centre, parliament amended the NSW Education Act on 1 December 2010 to give students who don’t attend Special Religious Education/Scripture classes in NSW public schools the legal right to attend philosophical ethics classes as an option to supervised ‘private study.’
The NSW Government tasked The Ethics Centre to develop and deliver ethics education classes in urban, regional and rural primary schools.
The Ethics Centre promptly established Primary Ethics Limited, an independent not-for-profit organisation, to develop an engaging, age-appropriate, interconnected curriculum that spans the primary years from Kindergarten to Year 6 and to then deliver ethics education free of charge via a network of specially trained and accredited volunteers.
Since then, ethics classes have been enthusiastically adopted in over 420 schools in NSW and Primary Ethics has established itself as a highly effective education provider within the public school system.
Primary Ethics is an independent not-for-profit organisation approved for deductible gift recipient status and is the sole approved provider of ethics classes to NSW public schools.
Primary Ethics is funded by donations from individuals and foundations. Seed funding was provided by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. In November 2013, Primary Ethics established the Primary Ethics Future Trust with the specific remit to manage funds received for the benefit and continuance of Primary Ethics Ltd. The trust was absorbed back into the primary organisation in June 2016 as an investment program with the same remit as the original trust – the secure future of Primary Ethics.