I see that the coalition (that is, the guys who will be governing NSW in just a few months) have reneged on their promise to scrap ethics classes, which means that a lot of state schools in NSW will be offering them as an alternative to school scripture this year.
This is one of those bad news-good news items. In the short term, it is pretty much all bad news. The selling point was that this would provide an option for non-religious families to involve their children in considering ethical issues, but wouldn't be promoted as suitable for all students and certainly wouldn't undermine existing Scripture classes. That was always going to be spin, and even during the trial period rhetoric didn't match reality (see this report for some examples). Lying liars from Mendacity City, Arkansas, have told their lying lies and now we are left with the result—ethics classes available to all state schools in NSW and broadly promoted to all students and parents as a desirable and good thing.
Add to that, the coalition parties in NSW said they'd remove the classes, and then promptly backed down and said they wouldn't. That doesn't look good even when you assess it in purely secular ethical terms. Lots of thoughts here about yes, maybe some of those involved in political promises would benefit from a bit of ethical instruction before promoting it to the great unwashed as the solution to many of life's problems.
The good news (I think and suspect), is that school scripture is now safer than it was. Yes, there were constitutional safeguards to ensure that it always was safe, but the way the ethics trials have been introduced show how easily such things are circumvented at local level when parents are told by governments that their children are being treated unfairly. It may never have occurred to parents that their children were missing out by being denied instruction in philosophical ethics; now many of them are persuaded that they have been deprived in the past and that this new course will meet their needs.
Now that the classes are going to begin to be offered, a lot of the intensity of feeling will go out of the whole discussion.
So I predict that the new classes will be nowhere near as wonderful in execution as they are meant to be in theory, falling at an early hurdle for lack of parents and citizens to teach them. It's one thing to be excited about ethics as a good thing for kids to learn, it's quite another to sign up to a roster to teach it for weeks and terms on end as a volunteer. Ask any school scripture teacher about that cost.
Not only that, but any heat in the campaign of some secularists to remove school scripture from schools will dissipate due to the well-publicized introduction of a secular alternative. The same argument that says 'we want choice for our kids' is the one that Christians will and should use to keep on going with existing school scripture classes (which remain constitutionally protected as a part of the state school education system). If those scripture classes are well-taught and well-run, children will be happy, parents will be happy, schools will be happy and one brilliant opportunity to teach children the gospel will remain in place.
[UPDATE: A lawyer friend corrects me by pointing out that the right to teach Scripture in NSW state schools is strictly speaking legally protected, but not constitutionally protected. Thanks Neil!]