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EvidenceEvidence Syntheses

Respectful Relationships: Education in Schools

This paper was written following a decision by the Australian Government to include Respectful Relationships Education on the school curriculum. It aims to support policy makers and education departments in the design, implementation, and evaluation of their policy and practice.

The paper offers the following definition: “Respectful Relationships Education is the holistic approach to school-based, primary prevention of gender-based violence. It uses the education system as a catalyst for generational and cultural change by engaging schools, as both education institutions and workplaces, to comprehensively address the drivers of gender-based violence and create a future free from such violence.” 

The paper notes that there is currently no transferrable systemic model for Respectful Relationships Education. It therefore distils existing international and national evidence, and outlines seven core elements for good practice Respectful Relationships Education: 

  1. Address drivers of gender-based violence 
  2. Have a long term vision, approach and funding 
  3. Take a whole school approach 
  4. Establish mechanisms for collaboration and coordinated effort 
  5. Ensure integrated evaluation and continual improvement 
  6. Provide resources and support for teachers 
  7. Use age-appropriate, interactive, and participatory curriculum. 
Date published
  • 2015
  • Cara Gleeson
  • Sarah Kearney
  • Loksee Leung
  • Joanne Brislane
Published by Our Watch
Key quote "The recent inclusion of Respectful Relationships Education in the Australian Curriculum represents an unprecedented opportunity to create positive change for a whole generation of young people and across the education sector."