Mandatory consent education in Victoria response

Victorian Student Representative Council welcomes the recent announcement to make teaching about consent mandatory in Victorian government schools. This announcement is a powerful statement to students about the value of their voice in creating solutions in education.

Teaching consent was identified as an important aspect of inclusive sex education by Victorian students at VicSRC Congress 2020. Consent is an essential part of all relationships – particularly intimate and sexual relationships. Students in Victoria have expressed their frustrations with what they have described as “inadequate sexuality education” in schools and are calling on Victorian educators to step up to work with them to address this area. Students are calling for sexuality education that is relevant to everyone regardless of sexuality and gender identity and consent it an important part of that. Mandatory education about consent demonstrates a commitment to a broader cultural shift in our society that empowers students to have agency over their bodies and lives, as well as promoting child safety.

It is vital that students are included in conversations about what sexuality education is relevant to them on every level, from government mandated policy to the school and individual classroom level. VicSRC encourages everyone from the Department of Education and Training to individual schools and teachers in Victoria to work with students to give them a leading role in shaping their own consent and sexuality education.

To help start this conversation VicSRC is hosting a student-facilitated webinar for educators. The mandate from Victorian Minister for Education, James Merlino has left some teachers feeling uncertain about how to approach this important topic. While there are excellent resources available for schools VicSRC is providing this unique opportunity for teachers to hear directly from students, parents and sex education experts.

Supported by Department of Education and Training, Parents Victoria and Family Planning Victoria the webinar will be happening Wednesday 12th May 4-5pm on Zoom – you can book your tickets here.

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