Fighting domestic violence from the classroom
The Queensland Government will provide almost $15.5 million to update the respectful relationships education delivered in state schools.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the government consulted more than 180 stakeholders, including subject matter experts, parents, teachers, principals and students themselves, while developing the new program.
She said the money in this year’s budget would pay for advisor roles and professional development for teachers.
“Having the materials is great, but we want to support teachers and schools in delivering this as effectively as possible,” she said.
“The funding will support eight principal advisor roles, one in each region and one in central office, to provide tailored professional development for our schools and teachers to ensure they are prepared to deliver what are at times challenging and sensitive topics.
“Every Queensland state school will also be able to provide teachers and staff with time to access appropriate professional development and curriculum planning.
“This is all about building teacher capability — and it’s based on a fundamental notion of respect for our teachers and the job they do.
“The Palaszczuk government is committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills to form healthy relationships that are safe, free from harassment and sexual violence, and based on mutual respect,” she said.
“I’m proud to say Queensland has led the way on this with the first age-appropriate respectful relationships education program introduced into Queensland schools back in 2017 in response to the Not Now Not Ever report.
“In March 2021 I instigated a comprehensive review to make sure we were delivering the best resources and materials to our schools.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said this important initiative is part of the Queensland Government’s response to the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.
“The respectful relationships education initiative is critical, as we strive to help students build safe, supportive and respectful relationships,” Fentiman said.
“Teaching positive behaviours and skills from a young age will assist with combating issues such as gender inequality and family and domestic violence.”
The budget also has a $13.3 million investment giving every state school the opportunity to receive a Dignity Vending Machine, which supplies free period products to students. Students will also have access to the Period Talk Education program, which will help reduce the misplaced shame and stigma around periods.
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