The Ministry of Education has released an updated guide for schools on teaching sexuality education.
Deputy Secretary for Student Achievement, Dr Graham Stoop, says for the first time, the guide directly addresses issues of consent, coercion, and cultural differences.
“Schools told us they want to be able to equip their students with the right skills to navigate relationships with others, and to keep themselves safe.
“We understand this can be a difficult subject, so we’ve also produced a brochure for parents. It tells them what their children are likely to be taught, and at what age, and how parents can express their views.”
Dr Stoop says the revised guide is aimed at helping encourage problem solving and decision-making for students in relation to sexual activity, as well as assertiveness skills and identifying pressures from others.
“The guide has been produced with the help of schools, education groups and professionals, and health experts.
“It outlines the importance of recognising sexual diversity. Schools should be mindful of diverse student viewpoints when planning classes.
“Research shows that when students feel their personal values are treated with respect by their peers and schools, they stay at school longer and achieve more.
“While sexuality education is a compulsory part of the health curriculum, schools are free to decide how they teach it, in consultation with their school community. They must consult every two years on how they teach it.”
The new guidelines can be found here: http://health.tki.org.nz/Teaching-in-HPE/Policy-guidelines
The parent brochure can be found here: