Following the growing debate around sexual assault and consent in Australia, young people are calling for better education around consent.
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino, has been in the process of working with experts in education to create programs that include recognising personal boundaries, and addressing matters of sexual consent.
“We have to listen to students, who say they want and need a greater focus on this issue in the classroom. It is why we will mandate the teaching of consent in all government schools in an age-appropriate way. This will ensure it is not just taught, but taught well right across the state,” Mr Merlino told The Age.
Employment Minister Jaala Pulford said teaching school students about sexual consent was crucial.
“This is a very important step, this will build on the current program which is significant and does cover consent, but what we’re hearing from students is that they believe that an expansion and a greater depth to this training is required,” Ms Pulford said at a press conference on Sunday.
The government’s Respectful Relationships training, which is still being rolled out in all government schools, does include consent in its material.
However, this new directive would encourage schools to include learning about power imbalances, alcohol, age and whether or not a person may even understand what a sexual act is.
The Education Department does not mandate teaching for non-government schools but they can choose to opt-in to programs.
Only a quarter of non-government schools currently partake in the Respectful Relationships program.
By Beth Carter