NET - Promoting wellbeing through sexuality education - Information for schools

This is information about the 'Promoting wellbeing through sexuality education' NET for schools

We want to know

How your school supports and promotes safety and wellbeing for students through effective sexuality education.


As part of your education review scheduled between Monday 15 May (Week 3, Term 2), and Friday 4 August (Week 2, Term 3).

Why are we evaluating this?

Sexuality education is one of seven key areas of learning in Health and Physical Education. It is an important way of supporting young people’s wellbeing and improving their resilience.  Wellbeing is important for students’ success, for example, a student’s sense of achievement and success is enhanced by a sense of feeling safe and secure at school.

ERO last reported on schools’ provision for sexuality education in 2007. That evaluation found the majority of schools with Year 7‑13 students were not effectively meeting students’ learning needs. Meeting the needs of diverse groups of students was an area of particular weakness.

In 2015, the Ministry of Education released an updated guide for schools to support their delivery of sexuality education. ERO is interested in how schools are using the guide to review and plan sexuality education.

ERO consulted with a wide variety of agencies and academics with an interest in the area of young people’s sexuality education.

Our questions are

  • How does the board of trustees meet their responsibilities in relation to sexuality education?
  • How do leaders ensure the school environment and curriculum reflect the ideals of their community, and their stated vision for students?
  • How does the school consult and communicate with parents, whānau and the wider community to provide opportunities for sexuality education that meet the community’s and students’ priorities and needs?
  • How does the school implement the sexuality education aspect of the curriculum to promote positive attitudes to sexuality and identity?
  • How are teachers supported to confidently and capably implement sexuality education in their classes?
  • How does the school learn about their students’ needs in relation to sexuality education, prioritise those needs, and consider their progress towards meeting them?

We would like to talk to

  • school leaders
  • representatives of the board of trustees
  • subject or curriculum area leaders
  • school guidance counsellors, social/youth workers and/or nurses
  • parents of a variety of students (if available)
  • small groups of students in Year 7 or above.

We would also like to see copies of your policies, curriculum documents and any other relevant documents, such as evidence of consultation with parents, whānau and the community about the health curriculum.

If the school has a student support group (such as a Queer/Straight Alliance or feminist group), ERO would appreciate an opportunity to meet with this group.

Keeping students safe when talking with ERO

Please notify all parents/caregivers of students in Year 7 or above that ERO may be interested in speaking with their child about their experiences of sexuality education at school. All conversations will be held with small groups of students, and kept to appropriate topics according to the guidance from the Ministry of Education (2015).

Students will also be invited to share any thoughts or comments about their sexuality education anonymously, through an online comment option.

Please ensure that all parents/caregivers have the opportunity to withdraw their child from discussing their sexuality education with ERO, and to let ERO know if they are not to speak with particular children.  We recommend notifying parents/caregivers as soon as possible, so they have adequate time to consider their response. The attached document ‘Information for parents’ may help with this.

If a student shares information with ERO Review Officers that makes Review Officers think that there is a risk to the students’ safety or somebody else’s safety, or if a student shares information about being bullied, assaulted or harassed, Review Officers will follow your school’s child protection policy to make sure they talk to the right people, as well as ERO’s guidance for reporting.

If a student would like to speak to someone about any questions or concerns they have, ERO will direct them to talk to a trusted teacher, guidance counsellor, dean or other trusted adult.

What we will do with the information you share

The overall findings from reviews of schools in Term 2 and early Term 3, 2017 will be aggregated for a national report on schools’ implementation of sexuality education to support the wellbeing of their students.

If we want to use any specific examples from your school in the report, we will check the details with you first. We will not identify the school or any individuals in our report.


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