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Mandate the introduction of respectful relationships education into every Victorian Government school

Recommendation:
189
Status:
In progress

Who is leading the change

  • Department of Education and Training

The Victorian Government mandate the introduction of respectful relationships education into every government school in Victoria from prep to year 12. Implementation should be staged to ensure school readiness and to allow for ongoing evaluation and adaptation. It should be delivered through a whole-of-school approach and be consistent with best practice, building on the evaluation of the model being tested by the Department of Education and Training through Our Watch.

  • The Department of Education and Training is supporting Victorian schools and early childhood settings to implement Respectful Relationships through:  

    • a Lead School and Partner School model, providing intensive training and support to Victorian government, Catholic and independent schools to implement the whole-school approach to Respectful Relationships 
    • a regional Respectful Relationships workforce that is supporting schools and early childhood education settings to implement the Respectful Relationships initiative and strengthen referral and response to family violence 
    • providing support to Victorian schools to implement the Respectful Relationships curriculum
    • delivering professional learning to up to 7,700 early childhood educators working in funded kindergarten programs 
  • More than 1,500 Victorian schools have signed on to create a culture of gender equality and respect in their school community by implementing the Respectful Relationships whole school approach, as recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

    A Project Lead and Liaison Officer are helping to build the capacity of schools and early childhood educators working in government-funded kindergartens to implement the Respectful Relationships initiative in each of the Department of Education and Training's 17 Area teams.  

    Respectful relationships education is a core component of the Victorian Curriculum through the Health and Physical Education and Personal and Social Capability curriculum areas. All Victorian government and Catholic schools deliver the Victorian Curriculum. Schools are supported to deliver the curriculum through the optional Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships teaching and learning resources. 

    The Respectful Relationships initiative also includes professional learning to strengthen the capacity of up to 7,700 early childhood educators in Victorian Government-funded kindergarten programs to promote respectful relationships, positive attitudes and behaviours within their integrated teaching approach, to enable children to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence. 

    The Department of Education and Training will sign on the remaining government schools by March 2021. The 2020-21 State Budget invested $37.5 million to continue the Respectful Relationships initiative for a further 4 years. 

  • Forecast implementation date: 31 March 2021.

Reviewed 07 January 2021

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