Respectful Relationships Education
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Primary prevention is key
- 5 Promote healthy and safe relationships and build gender equitable values through initiatives for children and young people.
What are we doing?
The Queensland Department of Education (DoE) encourages schools to take a holistic approach to implementing health and wellbeing education, which includes respectful relationships education. This approach ensures schools consider a range of complex social and emotional issues such as protective behaviours, mental health and respectful relationships.
A range of respectful relationships education resources and programs are available to Queensland state schools.
Work to enhance and embed respectful relationships education that seeks to build gender equality and prevent domestic, family and sexual violence in Queensland state schools has continued to progress.
The Respectful relationships education program (RREP) was developed by the Department of Education as part of the broad multi-departmental Queensland Government approach to ending domestic and family violence.
The Department’s RREP is a Prep to Year 12 primary prevention program focused on influencing behaviour change to prevent undesirable social consequences such as domestic and family violence. The Department’s RREP is aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (HPE) and is available to all Queensland schools via appropriate online platforms.
The Department’s P-12 Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework identifies that Queensland state schools are required to provide health and wellbeing education, including respectful relationships education, as part of the implementation of the Australian Curriculum or as part of the school’s pastoral care program.
The Queensland Department of Education partnered with Our Watch to trial, implement and evaluate a whole-school approach to respectful relationships education in a primary school setting.
This pilot has provided the department with a range of opportunities for strengthening respectful relationships education delivery in Queensland state schools.
Work is underway to build teacher and school capability in using a whole-school approach to respectful relationships education that seeks to prevent domestic, family and sexual violence.
Construction of online professional learning modules on implementing a whole-school approach and development of tools and resources to enhance respectful relationships education implementation is underway.
Extensive consultation as part of a review to ensure the RREP adequately addresses the issue of consent, help seeking strategies and reporting of sexual harassment and assault has recently been finalised. The program is currently being strengthened in a range of stakeholder identified areas including consent education, help seeking, reporting and gender equality, to ensure it meets the needs of all students and supports teachers with appropriate teaching resources.
Consultation occurred with more than 180 key stakeholders, including students, teachers, parent bodies, principal associations, the non-government education sector and experts in the field, identifying opportunities to strengthen consent education, help seeking and reporting.
Development of a Respectful Relationships Education Hub to house respectful relationships, consent and reporting resources for educators, students and parents is also in train. New and strengthened materials are proposed for release in early 2022.
What have we achieved so far?
Made respectful relationships education compulsory in all Queensland state schools as part of school implementation of health and wellbeing education through delivery of the Australian Curriculum or a school’s pastoral care program.
Completed in partnership with Our Watch, the Respectful relationships education in primary schools pilot. A number of system-level opportunities to enhance respectful relationships education implementation in Queensland state schools were identified.
Developed a quality assurance tool to support the identification of programs that are evidence-based and align to the Australian Curriculum.
A Respectful Relationships Education Advisory Group has been established to provide advice and guidance on the Our Watch report’s opportunities and strategies for embedding respectful relationships education appropriate for Queensland’s context.
What is next?
- Developing tools and resources to support schools with implementing a whole-school approach to respectful relationships education that prevents domestic and family violence.
- Communications promoting professional development opportunities, resources and tools to support implementation of respectful relationships education, including materials on consent, help-seeking and reporting of sexual assault will be rolled out.
- Developing information and resources to build and promote a culture of respect and gender equality through the Australian Curriculum.
- Rolling out communications to schools, families and communities to increase understanding, valuing and engagement in respectful relationships education.
- Releasing and promoting the new Respectful Relationships Education Hub to provide a cohesive area for information and resources relating to respectful relationships education in Queensland.
- Continuing work to enhance and embed respectful relationships education in state schools, in line with actions identified within the Prevent. Support. Believe. Queensland’s Framework to address Sexual Violence and the Third Action Plan 2019–20 to 2021–22 of the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016–2026.
What difference will we make?
- Increased state schools report using the Queensland RREP as a resource to support respectful relationships education.
- Teaching staff report increased confidence in their ability to deliver respectful relationships education following the availability of professional development opportunities.
- Teaching staff recognise the importance of delivering respectful relationships education.
- The Queensland community believes it is important to educate children and young people about respectful relationships.