Queensland overhauls sex education with the Respectful Relationships Education Hub


Queensland Government, October 2022

The Queensland government has overhauled the way respectful relationships and sexual consent is taught in schools. Revamped educational materials — such as lesson plans — are available for Queensland teachers to use with students from next year.

The Respectful Relationships Hub also contains resources for parents and carers, and for students.

In March 2021, the Queensland Minister for Education asked the Department of Education (the department) to work with the non-government school sector and key stakeholders to identify whether respectful relationships education adequately addressed all issues, including sexual consent and reporting.

The department conducted extensive state-wide consultation with young people, educators, parent bodies, government and community stakeholders.

The feedback was clear — education on consent and reporting of sexual assault needed to be stronger, more direct, start earlier and be age-appropriate.

Education should provide students with the opportunity to examine real-life scenarios relevant to the student’s age and should challenge attitudes and behaviours that underpin domestic, family and sexual violence.

Students, parents and staff wanted more accessible information on how to report sexual assault and where to go to for help.

In collaboration with the non-government school sector, the department has undertaken a review of Queensland’s Respectful relationships education program and has strengthened and expanded these materials to develop Queensland’s Respect program.

Respectful relationships education is a primary prevention approach that aims to stop violence before it starts, by changing people’s attitudes about respect and equality. It involves the explicit teaching of the skills and knowledge needed to develop positive and respectful relationships. Effective respectful relationships education addresses the drivers of domestic, family and sexual violence. It looks at gender inequality, gender roles and stereotypes and challenges disrespectful attitudes and tolerance of violence, in an age-appropriate way.

Further resources:

By J Pope

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