ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
LABOR’S PLAN TO TEACH STUDENTS RESPECT: HELPING PROTECT KIDS AND PREVENT VIOLENCE
Australian schoolkids will learn more about respect and relationships as part of a new Labor plan to prevent violence and improve child safety.
Labor’s $77 million plan will train teachers how to best talk to students about respect and relationships in a way that’s appropriate for their age. It will ensure students and families who’ve experienced violence get the help they need.
The plan will also allow principals to hire extra expert support, and develop respect and relationships education programs that are based on evidence and tailored to their school.
Recent changes to the national school curriculum have strengthened the mandatory minimum standards for Australian children to learn about consent and respectful relationships.
But delivery of high quality respectful relationships education programs is patchy and inconsistent across the country. For example, there’s nowhere near enough support to train teachers properly in this kind of education, and some schools don’t have access to programs developed by experts. Too many school students are missing out on education that can help keep them safe.
Labor’s investment will change that. We will partner closely with state and territory governments, and school systems, to deliver these improvements to respect and relationships education.
When students are younger, teaching respect covers things such as how to have healthy, happy relationships with friends and family – learning kindness, and how to share and take turns.
It’s also about teaching kids how to seek help if they feel unsafe. Alarmingly, parents say only one in five Australian schools have programs that do that. That leaves our children vulnerable.
As students get older, teaching respect covers issues such as consent, and additional education to help stop sexual harassment, sexual assault, and family and domestic violence.
Age-appropriate respectful relationships education can also help promote equality between women and men and improve classroom behaviour.
Too many school students experience sexual harassment and assault. The Teach Us Consent campaign, led by Chanel Contos, saw more than 6,700 young women share their experience of being sexually assaulted. Labor’s plan to teach schoolkids more about respect and relationships will help put a stop to this.
Scott Morrison has seriously dropped the ball on respect education in schools.
In the 2020 Budget, Mr Morrison tried to halve funding for respect education in schools.
Just months later, his Government released the widely panned “milkshake and taco” respect education video for schools. The video had to be dumped after experts described it as “bizarre, concerning, confusing” and “harmful.”
TUESDAY, 8 MARCH 2022