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The issue: Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) can be a challenging subject to deliver in schools and the scope of what we need to teach young people is always changing. In addition to the more traditional focus on issues such as puberty, reproduction and preventing sexually transmissible infections; RSE now recognises the importance of teaching young people about other topics such as respectful relationships, interacting online, sexually explicit images, diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and protective behaviours. Broader influences are also recognised with significant crossover between sexual health and other topics such as mental health, and alcohol and other drugs. Schools are not alone in providing this vital education to young people. As part of a whole-school approach, it is important that schools engage collaboratively with parents, caregivers and their local community.

Project summary: The RSE Project, based at Curtin University, provides a range of professional development opportunities to Western Australian schools (K-12) in the area of relationships and sexuality education (RSE). Our training aligns with the Western Australian curriculum and is suitable for all school sectors. Our focus is on supporting teachers (both pre-service and in-service) to deliver RSE in schools. As we strongly advocate that schools embrace a whole-school approach to RSE, we are keen to also support school administrators, support staff, community health nurses and others who work in schools.

Relevance for practice and policy: Curtin University is currently the only university in Western Australia that offers undergraduate and postgraduate units focused solely on the delivery of relationships and sexuality education (RSE). Our priority is on assisting you to plan, deliver and assess RSE lessons that are engaging, comprehensive and evidence-based. All units include a broad range of practical teaching strategies that can be used in school or community settings. For school teachers, you will find many of these engaging strategies are also transferable to other issues and learning areas.

Project funding: The RSE Project is funded by the WA Department of Health, Sexual Health & Blood-borne Virus Program.

Project website: https://rseproject.org.au/