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Consultation with Parents, Caregivers, and the Community

The whole school community should be involved in developing policies and practices that support learning in this curriculum. Healthy school communities are those in which a commitment to hauora is consistently reinforced in the classroom, in the whole-school environment, and in positive relationships with parents and caregivers.

Consultation involving students, staff, parents, and caregivers will:

  • strengthen health education and physical education programmes
  • assist in the development of related school policies
  • contribute to school review and the evaluation of programmes
  • provide opportunities for students, teachers, parents, and caregivers to enhance students' learning.

It is essential for school staff to consult, using appropriate protocols, with Maori, Pacific Islands, Asian, and other ethnic communities if the diverse needs of students are to be increasingly well understood and provided for.

For a healthy whole-school environment, schools and teachers should also establish and maintain links with those community organisations and people who can support this curriculum.

Legislative Requirements for Consultation about the Implementation of the Health Curriculum

Section 60B of the Education Act 1989, as amended by the Education Standards Act 2001, outlines the legal requirements for state schools regarding the delivery of the health education components of the relevant national curriculum statements.

At least once every two years, boards of trustees are required to produce a written statement about how the school will implement health education. The legislation requires schools to:

  • inform the school community about the content of the health education components of the curriculum
  • consult with members of the school community regarding the way in which the school should implement health education
  • describe, in broad terms, the health education needs of the school's students.

Section 60B defines "school community" as meaning:

  • in the case of integrated schools, the parents of the students enrolled at the school and the school's proprietors
  • in the case of any other school, the parents of the students enrolled at the school
  • in every case, any other person whom the board of trustees considers is part of the school community for the purpose of developing the school health education programme.

The board of trustees may use any method of consultation that it considers will best achieve the purpose of the consultation described above. A statement on the delivery of health education may not be adopted until the board has:

  • prepared a statement in draft
  • given members of the school community adequate opportunity to comment on the draft statement
  • considered any comments it receives.

There is provision under section 25AA, as amended by the Education Standards Act 2001, for individual parents of students enrolled in any state school to write to the principal to request that their child/children be excluded from specified parts of the health programme related to sexuality education.

The principal is required to ensure that the student is excluded from the relevant tuition and that the student is supervised during that time. This requirement does not extend to exclusion at any other time when a teacher deals with a question raised by another student that relates to sexuality education.

The 1990 repeal of section 3 of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 removed any legal impediment to young people of any age having access to advice on the use of contraception or to the supply of contraceptive devices. However, decisions to include contraceptive education as part of the sexuality education component of the school health programme must be considered within the requirements of the Education Act 1989 (as amended in 2001), which are outlined above.

Achievement Objectives.