The Andrews Labor Government will introduce respectful relationships education into the school curriculum from next year to support students to learn how to build healthy relationships, understand global cultures, ethics and traditions, and to prevent family violence.
Respectful relationships education will be included in the curriculum from 2016 in Prep through to Year 10. It will focus on challenging negative attitudes such as prejudice, discrimination and harassment, that can lead to violence, often against women.
The state-wide introduction of respectful relationships education follows a pilot program in 30 Victorian schools.
The Labor Government is committed to addressing family violence, promoting gender equity and ensuring contemporary education for children and families.
Schools will receive training and guidance to deliver the curriculum content. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) will develop resources to support teachers.
The Government is also recognising the importance of world histories, cultures, and ethics. As part of the new Victorian Curriculum, this new content will be delivered by qualified teachers in all government schools.
These changes will help ensure Victoria remains a successful multicultural society and strengthen our diversity, one of our state’s greatest assets. The capacity of our young people to understand others, including other world views, and to act with tolerance and respect, is an essential skill.
As part of these changes, from the start of Term 1, 2016, Special Religious Instruction (SRI) will be moved to lunchtimes or before or after school, freeing up 30 minutes of valuable class time per week.
Currently, while up to 20 per cent of primary school students participate in SRI, other students are missing out on essential learning time. The move means that teachers and students will be able to focus on core curriculum, learning the lessons and skills they need to be their best.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We’re giving students the lessons and knowledge they need to understand the world around them, which will help them to grow and be their best.”
“Understanding the diversity of our world is so important to the success of students and it deserves a proper place in our school curriculum.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson
“Gender inequality is one of the underlying causes of family violence. We need to address discrimination and teach equality as part of preventing family violence.”
“Teaching healthy, respectful relationships is key to preventing violence. We’re including it in the curriculum so that every Victorian school teaches students these important skills and lessons.”