Some aspects of PDHPE may be viewed as sensitive or controversial, such as learning about abuse, child protection, drugs, respectful relationships, sexual health, sexuality, and violence.
Informing parents and carers before delivering content which may be considered controversial sits within the Department’s Controversial Issues in Schools policy. In accordance with the Controversial Issues in Schools policy procedures:
3. Parent information/consent
It is essential that principals maintain communication with parents and carers on teaching and learning programs, visiting speakers, external providers and other school activities, including student organised activities, in which controversial issues may be addressed.
Parents and carers need to be advised of the specific details of school activities, programs or events addressing controversial issues and the relevance to the curriculum and school programs and activities. Where advice is appropriate, it must be given prior to the occasion so parents and carers can provide consent or withdraw their child from a particular session(s) on controversial issues. The parental right to withdraw their child must be respected.
Alternative learning must be provided to children who have been withdrawn from a particular session. The principal makes the decision to use opt-out or opt-in consent forms in obtaining consent from parents. Factors to consider when using opt-out consent forms include the link to the curriculum and school programs, learning objectives and outcomes and the number of students participating. If a parent or carer calls the school to provide or deny consent to the particular activity, a written record of the call (including, date, time, caller, recipient and consent) must be kept accordance with section 6 of the procedures.
Establishing how parents will be informed about programs and involved in consultation is a school-based decision.
Access and modify the sample letters to communicate with your school community about your teaching and learning programs.