Consent package for NSW schools and parents

A suite of initiatives is being rolled out to support the teaching of respectful relationships.

30 May 2021
A man in an orange shirt talks to a group of people sitting in orange chairs.
Image: Parents as partners: A webinar and survey are the first steps in engaging parents in the consent discussion.

A new consent package is being developed for NSW schools, focusing on support for teachers and engagement with parents.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell announced the new suite of initiatives today as the first major step following the Statement of Intent signed by all three school sectors earlier this year.

“This government has made very clear its intentions to work with the community to combat sexual violence,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Schools play an important role, side by side with parents, to instil the values in our students and children on what is acceptable behaviour and how to foster respectful relationships.

To support teaching of respectful relationships, a new range of curriculum-aligned teaching and learning resources – aligned with the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) curriculum – will be created for teachers.

“The resources will be available on the department’s Learning Resources Hub. They will be quality assured and produced by subject-matter experts,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Our consent curriculum content in the PDHPE curriculum is the strongest in Australia and these resources will ensure teachers can deliver it in the best way possible.”

The resources will include lesson sequences and stage-appropriate teaching activities that teachers can use or adapt to assist them in the classroom.

“We will be able to monitor the uptake of these resources to know which ones are being used most in schools and where more support is needed,” Ms Mitchell said.

The Department of Education has also partnered with the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations of NSW and, as a first step, will hold the first webinar for all public school P&Cs next month.

The webinar will be an opportunity for P&C members to find out more about the Statement of Intent, what students currently learn through the curriculum, and how parents and carers can stay engaged in the discussion.

“Parents are partners in their child’s education. I want to know they have everything they need to have these important conversations with their children,” Ms Mitchell said.

In Term 3, the Department will also invite P&C members and other representative parent groups to participate in a survey.

“Through the survey, we will learn more about parents’ current understanding of consent education and the kind of supports they would find helpful in our collective effort to help young people build healthy and respectful relationships,” Ms Mitchell said.

The resources will be available to all teachers in the coming school term. Parents will receive more information on the webinar and survey via their P&C or local school.

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