Respectful relationships education


​​​​​In August 2015, the Queensland Government responded to the final report from the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland—Not Now Not Ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland. The Respect program stems from recommendation 24, which supports the introduction of programs in state schools to embed, through the school life of all secondary and primary state schools, a culture that emphasises:

  • developing and maintaining respectful relationships
  • respecting self
  • gender equality.

In early 2016, the department released the Respectful Relationships Education Program. This primary prevention education program focused on equipping students with the skills to develop respectful and ethical relationships free of violence.

The Queensland Department of Education has now released the new Respect program, which significantly expands on the existing Respectful Relationships Education Program.

​The Respect program has been developed by the department as part of the broad multi-departmental Queensland Government approach to ending domestic and family violence.

The Respect program ​is a Prep to Year 12 primary prevention program focused on influencing behaviour change to prevent undesirable social consequences such as domestic and family violence. This is done through challenging attitudes about violence and gender construction that are known to lead to violence, while also supporting students to develop pro-social behaviours that lead to equitable and respectful relationships. A strengths-based approach underpins the development of respectful relationships knowledge and skills.

Respect includes opportunities for the explicit and age appropriate teaching of the skills and knowledge including personal and social awareness, human rights, gender equality and equity, respectful relationships and interactions, consent education, preventing domestic and family violence, and help seeking and reporting strategies that are needed to develop positive and respectful relationships. The department, in collaboration with the non-government school sector, engaged in extensive consultation to revise and strengthen the ​Respect program.​



Respectful relationships education hub

The department has also developed a Respectful relationships education hub​ (RRE hub), an easy to navigate ‘one stop shop’ approach to respectful relationships education.

The purpose of the RRE hub is to assist schools in delivering respectful relationships education in a way that suits the needs of their individual school and school community.

The RRE hub provides information on respectful relationships, consent and reporting sexual assault and harm. For information on these topics, visit the RRE hub.

Respectful relationships as part of health and wellbeing education

The Prep to Year 10 component of the Respect program is aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education and can be delivered through this learning area or as part of the school's pastoral care program. The Year 11 and 12 content is designed to be delivered through pastoral care programs.

Specialised resources for schools and teachers include program guidelines, teaching sequences and resources for each band of years. Schools utilise the resources in a way that best suit the needs of their context.

All resources are practical and easy to use and encourage the use of social and emotional learning pedagogy including group work, discussion, role plays, scenario work and empathy-based inquiry. They provide opportunities for teachers to guide discussions, address concerns and help students work through sensitive and complex issues. The teaching resources are available online to state schools via the Respectful Relationships Education Hub and for non-state schools via Scootle (the National Digital Learning Resources Network managed by Education Services Australia).

What will students learn?

Queensland state schools are required to provide health and wellbeing education, either as part of the delivery of the Australian Curriculum or as part of the school's pastoral care program. The P–12 curriculum, assessment and reporting framework specifies the curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements for all Queensland state schools.

The Respect program takes a developmental approach to content and delivery. Over the years of schooling from Prep through to Year 12, students will be exposed to learning opportunities that help them build respectful relationships and understand consent and the reporting of sexual assault.

By implementing the Respect program, schools will give students opportunities for social and emotional learning in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, ethics, values, social norms, stereotypes, human rights, risk and responsible decision-making. A growing body of evidence shows that social and emotional learning of this nature leads to:

  • improved social and emotional skills, self-concept, bonding to school and classroom behaviour
  • less disruptive classroom behaviour, aggression, bullying and delinquent acts
  • reduced emotional distress such as depression, stress or social withdrawal.

Fact sheets

Parent fact sheets

Student fact sheets

Respectful relationships education in primary schools pilot

Between 2017 and 2019, the department partnered with Our Watch to pilot and evaluate a whole-school approach to respectful relationships education in a primary school setting.

The pilot was undertaken in 10 South East Queensland state primary schools and focussed on providing age-appropriate, respectful relationships education to years 1 and 2 students that examined traditional roles and activities.

The Queensland pilot found that explicit teaching of age-appropriate, gendered content within a whole-school approach correlated with improvements to students’ gendered attitudes.

The pilot’s key findings and opportunities to strengthen respectful relationships education in Queensland schools can be found in the respectful relationships education pilot summary.

Our Watch’s detailed Respectful relationships education to prevent gender-based violence: Lessons from a multi-level pilot in primary schools evaluation report can be found on Our Watch's website.

Last updated 10 October 2022